Talk:Ball lightning/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Home-Made Plasma

Although the bulk of this wiki is about ball-lightning, it includes a seemingly pointless reference to home-made plasma

Many sources of information on ball lightning often make mention of a questionably related phenomenon commonly referred to as plasma balls. These floating balls of light often accompany a larger ball of fire that occurs when a lit or recently extinguished match or other material is immediately placed in an ordinary kitchen microwave on high power. These experiments are easily reproduced in home appliances and numerous websites exist with instructions on how to recreate it. Home video clips as well as video of public demonstrations of the occurrence have been posted. [11][12][13]

The experiments usually involve lighting a match and either microwaving it while lit or blowing out the match and then microwaving it immediately. The plasma balls are usually bright and bluish in color, and roll around at the ceiling of the microwave chamber. A buzzing sound is characteristically observed while the plasma balls are present.

The effect tends to damage the chamber where the plasma ball(s) have appeared, producing dents in the chamber wall or ceiling, as well as leaving burn marks. Some instructions for the experiment describe covering the lit object with an inverted glass jar, which would contain the flame and "plasma balls" so that they wouldn't damage the microwave oven itself.

Although this phenomenon has been referred to as ball lightning or plasma balls, these names are more a description of their appearance than they are based on scientific fact. It has not been proven that it is actually related to the natural occurrence of ball lightning, or that the balls are made of plasma. No truly scientific explanation currently exists for the phenomenon.

A few points to make:

  1. ) This section is redundant in a few places
  2. ) the "plasma" created from a match tends to be orange, red or white in color, not blue (I can't believe I'm about to cite youtube) this video is just one example... I found only a couple of demonstrations that yielded a remotely bluish "plasma" (it was mostly white, with blue and or purple edges) and they were accomplished with scented candles for the most part.
  3. ) It is NOT in any way ball lightning, it is CO2 being ionized by the microwaves (one of the first articles I found on the topic:, and resulting in something best described as plasma due to it's visual similarities.
  4. ) It cannot be conclusively be called plasma because there has been no testing run to see if it meets the 3 requirements to be true plasma. (see: "Definition of plasma" found here)
  5. ) I have never heard of, read about, or seen a single "denting" due to this experiment; simply a lot of scorching, glass shattering (it is actually hot enough to shatter pyrex in a matter of seconds, which is no small feat). I have conducted this experiment, hence I found out about the pyrex

Overall, I believe that although it makes a brief reference to ball lightning, this portion of the article should be moved to the "microwave plasma" page (found here). It is a dubious plasma, and regardless of the few who call it "microwave ball lightning," it does not seem to fit with the rest of the wiki.

CTRLurself 05:04, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

1) This section is redundant in a few places
→ If so then it needs copy editing. Do it instead of complaining.
2) the "plasma" created from a match tends to be orange, red or white in color, not blue (I can't believe I'm about to cite youtube) this video is just one example... I found only a couple of demonstrations that yielded a remotely bluish "plasma" (it was mostly white, with blue and or purple edges) and they were accomplished with scented candles for the most part.
→ If so then edit the article... cite a source other than youtube though.
3) It is NOT in any way ball lightning, it is CO2 being ionized by the microwaves (one of the first articles I found on the topic:, and resulting in something best described as plasma due to it's visual similarities.
→ Since no one knows what ball lightning is yet, this is hardly a steadfast conclusion. There are also many differing opinions on what microwave plasma actually is. There's no way you can positively say what either of them are... or are not.
4) It cannot be conclusively be called plasma because there has been no testing run to see if it meets the 3 requirements to be true plasma. (see: "Definition of plasma" found here)
→ The end of the section clearly states that the phenomenon has not been proven to be plasma.
5) I have never heard of, read about, or seen a single "denting" due to this experiment; simply a lot of scorching, glass shattering (it is actually hot enough to shatter pyrex in a matter of seconds, which is no small feat). I have conducted this experiment, hence I found out about the pyrex
→ I have also conducted this experiment, hence I found out about the denting. If the "ball" stays in the same place for a few seconds then a dent can be produced -- which would seem to follow given your claims of how hot it can get; if it's that hot, and stays in contact with the same place in the microwave for a while, it's not unlikely to have the ability to partially melt that point, producing a dent afterwards. Either way this is all original research so I'm fine with editing this detail out, however if so then it should be replaced with something else that warns about the potential damage this experiment can inflict.
Overall, I believe that although it makes a brief reference to ball lightning, this portion of the article should be moved to the "microwave plasma" page (found here). It is a dubious plasma, and regardless of the few who call it "microwave ball lightning," it does not seem to fit with the rest of the wiki.
→ I think that since ball lightning and microwave plasma are seen by many to be related (sources are cited) and no one can conclusively explain either event, that the description can stay in summary form with a link to the main article microwave plasma. The main article itself cites no sources and the one external link is to a page that says that no conclusive explanation exists yet.

Equazcion 06:23, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Ball lightning

Is it just me or does the picture of the Ball Lightning chasing a car look like a white balloon tied to the back of a car with some ribbons on it?

some labs managed to produce "sort of ball lightening" based on their own theories, e.g. - ball of plasma produced by microwave interference produced by a lightening - self-sustaining vortex of combustible gas!

these should be added to "theories of ball lightening"

Here's a news article about it: [1] Ziiv 12:44, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Right. So? It's already in the article. --Art Carlson 13:42, 14 January 2007 (UTC)


I read that Nikola Tesla produced ball lightening artificially.

He artificially created a ball of length 125 m long in his private lab. This caused the blockage of electricity for 3 days in his area. See how powerful he is.


Removed until I can verify it and explain it less ambiguously:

Direct current passing from the ground to the clouds through an area of high conductivity tends to concentrate in that area (how would this happen? seems to me that the current would be the same all along the bolt, wouldn't it?), forming a pinch in the magnetic field (of the earth? of the lightning bolt? of what? what is a "pinch"?). Lightning passing through that area has enough energy to convert the air from a gas to a plasma (isn't lightning already passing through this area? the air is already ionized if it is conducting, right?). Under the right conditions the plasma is trapped within the magnetic field shaped like a vortex (what is causing a "vortex" shaped field? why would it attract plasma into a ball shape?). The "ball" exists until the plasma cools (Singer, 1971).

I don't understand what this paragraph is supposed to be saying, and cannot find the original source online. I'll just leave it here if someone else wants to put it back in, with clarification. - Omegatron 18:51, May 27, 2004 (UTC)


Reverting the reversion of my changes: Let take this one step at a time.

"(depending on the amount of impurities traces)": If there is no accepted theory of ball lightning, there can no accepted theory of the color of it. In any case, air is pretty uniform, so impurities are very unlikely to be the right explanation.

"Structure is described as a translucent envelope and glowing plasma inside, the whole mass showing signs of internal forces and a burning appearance (Barry, 1980).": What does "translucent envelope" mean in this context. I've never heard ball lightning described that way. It glows, but whether it is a plasma is discussed further down. What sort of internal forces are those supposed to be and how are they made evident? "Burning" adds no information over "glowing".

"Some report claims of the discharge that moves on its own volition.": Whether that is in some reports or not, how can observation of motion alone allow one to conclude whether an object has it own will?

"Although accounts can vary significantly, a generally accepted model can be synthesized.": I dispute this statement.

"These effects may, though, be highly ionized plasma contained by magnetic fields of radiant energy (a popular explanation)." and following: There are sound scientific arguments against a plasma explanation. (I suppose I should take the time to expound upon them.) "magnetic fields of radiant energy" is gobbledygook anyway.

We'll deal with the "Alternative Analysis" another day.

Art Carlson 17:45, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

Let take this one step at a time? ok ....
impurities are very unlikely to be the right explanation? very unlikely? what? This _could be_ a likely and valid reason (though others probably exist and could be as valid).
What evidence is there that impurities play a role? Why should impurities determine the color more strongly than the 79% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% argon present in air?
The mediums that are present @ a phenonomena is important.
What does "translucent envelope" mean in this context? I would suppose it means an outer surface that is not transparent, but clear enough to allow light to pass through ...
When looking at a glowing object, how can you tell whether the envelope is translucent or is itself glowing? Are you referring to a specific report?
Pending the situation, I would summize that it would be dependent on the light around the object (eg., a light buld behing the ball). I'll see if i can dig up a specific report.
plasma is discussed further down? That was removed by you [can't refered to something you removed] ...
Fair enough. I've added a few words about plasma physics.
What sort of internal forces are those supposed to be? Electromagnetic, mabey ...
how are they made evident? From the observational reports ..
It is important to distinguish between observations and an interpretation of those observations. What exactly did someone see, that they chose to interpret as evidence of internal forces?
Observation is important, but shouldn't be relied on for thier various interpertations exclusive (interpertations can vary widely). From the various scientific research on the balls, they see evidence of internal forces [see references/ext. links]. I'll see if I can get any other links for that.
Whether that is in some reports or not, how can observation of motion alone allow one to conclude whether an object has it own will? Observation of motion alone can allow some to conclude whether an object has it own will ... though other explianations are possible (e.g., this may or may not be the case) ...
If an observer speculates that the ball lightning he observed has volition, then that would not belong under observations but under interpretations (if anywhere). Who made this report and what was it about the motion that led him to make this speculation?
An interpertation section may be good ... mabey before an analysis sections.
deal with the "Alternative Analysis" another day? Ok ...
Now, some specific questions ...
There are sound scientific arguments against a plasma explanation? Please list them ...
See the added content.
Ok ...
What is your exact "dispute" with the statement of a "generally accepted model can be synthesized"?
That it is not true. There is no model of ball lightning that is generally accepted. There is no model that is physically plausible and fits (most of the) observations.
The scientific research does have some general parameters. I'll get some references though (@ later time; i don't have any off the top of my head).
How is "magnetic fields of radiant energy" is gobbledygook? Please explain.
Magnetic fields are a well-defined entity and are not made up of "radiant energy" or anything else. Magnetic fields can contribute to the radiation of energy if they are time-varying and associated with electric fields. This is called electromagnetic radiation, or better, depending on the frequency, radio waves, microwaves, light, X-rays, or gamma rays.
"Radiant energy" is electromagnetics (a more generalized concept though; is acknolwledged by FCC standards). BTW, you fromgot infrared =-]. JDR

ionic plasmas

I condensed the discussion of hydrogen/nitrites/nitrates plasmas quite a bit because I didn't understand it well enough to decide its scientific merit. For example, what is the recombination time? What is the degree of ionization? A reference would help a lot. (I'd also like a reference to that relatively recent theory involving fractal silicon structures.) Art Carlson 20:19, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Some collected references from 1990-1995 are at I recall that the fractal theory came from Russia.--Wjbeaty 04:52, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

My experience of ball lightning

I wish I were as lucky in winning the lottery as I was (if not unlucky, but at least in that million-to-one situation) of having experienced ball lightning:

I was staying with relatives at an isolated farmhouse (and watermill) where the foothills of the Thuringian Forest (Germany) run out into a plain. The house was surrounded by alders and elms but other than that was in the flat open countryside. There was a severe thunderstorm, when suddenly lightning struck. (We subsequently found that it had split the chimney above the farmhouse.) It entered the damaged chimney and went on through the ceiling-high old-fashioned tiled stove (Kachelofen) into the living-room, smashing several tiles in the process. By then it had metamorphosed into ball-lightning, and all the time the noise was ear-shattering.

The next thing that happened was that this ball-shaped bright sulphur-coloured object started to hover up and down like a balloon above horizontal surfaces all the while making this most awful noise. The “ball” was about ten inches in diameter and it lasted for about eight to ten seconds. It was then that one of us in the room had the presence of mind to open the door to the corridor and with a sudden “whoosh” it swept out through the half-open house-door. While it was active inside the house, it seemed to be quite self-contained, in other words if it touched anything it certainly didn’t damage anything or impart any of its no doubt immense power to anything in its way. The noise was such that it killed two pigs that died of heart-attacks in the sty along the farmyard. Other than the chimney in the middle of the house-ridge and the tiles of the stove, nothing was damaged. Dieter Simon 00:13, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This reference to "foo-fighters" in the article, does this look bona-fide to any expert? Or is that some kind of vandalism? Dieter Simon 00:38, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Apparently not: There should be a link in the band name to the ball lightning article. - Omegatron 13:44, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)
My family's microwave was hit by a lightning surge once (yes, unplugging things is a good idea), and after the shower of sparks, a 1' diameter yellow orb floated out, made some unpleasant noises, and disappeared after a few seconds. It floated very slowly. Strangely enough the microwave works much better after - this happened in 1986 and the damn thing still works great. Not that this proves it's existence to anyone else, but come on, the reason science ignores this is because they haven't been able to make one. Interesting they've done research into microwave drills, I assumed the surge we witnessed bypassed the microwave tube, and the ball lightening was caused by the metal housing of the appliance, something like that. Maybe the tube did have a part in it. Rainman420 18:38, 6 May 2006 (UTC)


I changed

"or rod-like with no dimension being much larger than the others"


"or rod-like with one dimension being much larger than the others"

because the first form didn't seem to be self-consistant. 10:06, 3 August 2005 (UTC)


This article treats the topic as if it were well accepted scientific fact. Regardless of individual belief or opinion on the truth of this phenomenon, more emphasis on the disputed nature of ball lightning should certainly be added to the article. Further analysis and discussion can be added to either support or refute the phenomenon, but it is important to recognize that debate does exist.

Is the existence of ball lightning really disputed anymore? At least in Sweden it seems nobody questions _the existence_ of ball lightning, but only how and why it is created, and how it could be recreated? According to an article written (in Swedish) by Dagens Nyheter and the Division for Electricity and Lightning Research at Uppsala University, "scientists where sceptical to the phenomenon [...] but as more and more people has experienced and reported ball lightnings the sceptics have been reduced to a minority" (my own, rough translation of a paragraph in [2]) 01:52, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

The article by Singer (Phil Trans R. Soc. London A (2002) v 360, pp5-9,) might be taken as a good place to start. Text is available on web (at ). Bob aka Linuxlad 18:22, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Is there still a POV problem? 20:56, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say there is a POV problem anymore. The article clearly conveys the disputed nature of ball lightning's existence. Maybe the tag should be removed? Molimo 01:44, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps an additional section about the disbelief in ball lightning would be helpful, either right before or right after the 'Esoteric explanations' section. 19:23, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I did that. A section called Disbelief in Ball Lightning now exists, with research through links provided at the bottom of the page. I also removed the POV tag.TrogdorPolitiks 20:35, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm really not sure if I just saw ball lightning. I saw basically this: a flashbulb type brightness about 1 foot in diameter in the dead center of the window to my right, after I saw it right on my left. I definately felt it, or at least felt immense fear upon seeing it. I at first thought a car had passed by, but that's actually impossible because it would be at an angle, there's no physical possible way for it to go directly through the house like a shotgun as it just was. We have really big windows, and I went and asked if my sister saw it. She said it was just lightning and described it similar, but didn't see two flashes. I'm thinking she may have saw it while it was to my left (where her window is) and missed the other flash, to the right. It may have been an odd occurrance, or ball lightning (it did have a direct shot if it was so it wouldnt have touched anything). All it did was shock me as it was so unexpected. --TIB [[User_talk:The_Inedible_Bulk|(talk)]] 06:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I would say there is still a problem with the article. Even though it claims that the existance of ball lightning is disputed, and admits that there may be several different phenomena at work, it attributes many historical sightings of odd balls of light as "ball lightning" without proof. -- 19:20, 10 May 2006 (UTC)




I remember an incident with ball lightning happened in 1984 in Zilina, Slovakia. A teacher was killed by the ball lightning on school athletic field (surrounded with two 12-floor blocks secured with lightning conductors).
About 15 children with their teacher were on the field. There was a storm before and it was also raining just a few minutes before. Some child noticed the ball about 5m above the field and pointed on it. It was moving relatively slowly from above near the group and slowed down, almost stopped about 2m above the field. The movement was unstable, however. The ball was a sphere with about 15-20cm of diameter and looked as 'made from fire' (I mean classical campfire). Children just stared at it while teacher, when realized, what children are pointing on, moved swiftly back and at the same moment ball moved faster forward in her direction. Some children said it disappeared when touched the umbrella teacher held still opened in her hand. It was without a sound of explosion... I do not remember any sound except some yelling. All the watched ball appearance took about 5 seconds. It could be visible from hundereds of flats and from the school classes before.
Teacher felt down. She had a small injury on her hand and on head (found later in hospital on the place where she had a metallic clip in her hair). Some other teacher who saw that from window ran to help while other called for an ambulance. Then yet another teacher took the children from the place.
The teacher was hospitalized in coma with severe brain demage. After about 3 months she died. That time there was no internet (and no wikipedia) and we (my parents) were trying to search for some information how to protect against this. I remember a friend of our family who knew about a man, who had ball lightning in his flat. It enterd through one window and left through another window. I was instructed by my parents not to move when it happens and to open window (heh - right now I see it doesn't make lot of sense, but you know, that's life ;).
This was the most awful think I experienced and I am really wondering when I read that existence of this phenomenon is questionable! At least 20 people saw it there and all the town was chatting about the ball lightning for weeks... Some speculated that is could have been a normal lightning, but it was confirmed also to police by school management (who did not see the incident) that there was no thunder heard that time. I guess ball lightning was recorded also in official communication.
I am a kind of scientist, but I think a report from a serious man has higher value than a picture. The first is less probably a fake!
--Eltwarg 18:08, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi all. I am from tel aviv, Israel, and I saw a Ball lightning. can you people add a piska (picture) about Ball Lightning that saw in Israel? it can be part of alian in Israel

thanks anyway, Israel.

Hi, are you saying you have a photo of a ball lightning you would like to add to the article? Dieter Simon 00:07, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

your welcome for cleaning up the grammer and spelling. Dark knight sparda

I Have Seen Ball Lightning

I hve sen ball Lightning throughout my whole life and it is usually 20 feet away they are medium sized but not that big and color white. I live in Minnesota and for the last ten years I have seen ball lightning on common occurences. Dark knight sparda

new claims 2/2006

A lab in Israel has now claimed to produce ball lightning:

Acceptance and sources

Cut from article:

Although speculation continues, there is now agreement that it is neither mythical nor purely psychological.

Agreement by whom? In other words, who says it's neither mythical nor psychological? Let's name a scientific (or other) source who's willing to go out on a limb and endorse the reality of the phenomenon.

Anecdotes and literary references don't mean much. In 1805, people still thought getting soaked in a chilly rain could cause a "cold", but this was before modern immunology and Pasteur's germ theory of disease. --Uncle Ed 15:21, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Plenty of people still believe this, for the record. If ball lightning truly is a rare phoenomenon, would it not be expected that anecdotes would vastly outweigh the evidence? We've been writing history for thousands of years, but have only developed an understanding of electricity (and of course photography) in the last 150... If there had been cameras in 1500 perhaps we would have a photograph by now. I'm a natural skeptic but there's no cause to dismiss this yet. Rainman420 18:45, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't mean to criticize, Uncle Ed, however you realise that staph and strep are predominantly in the human nose and given cold conditions the capilliaries of the nasal region (like all others) contract thus disallowing immuno defenses against the omnipresent bacterial infection thus increasing the likelyhood of overpopulation of micro-flora and fauna to a degree that one is succeptable to the common cold should they 'get soaked in a chilly rain', right? I don't mean to detract from the point you're making, however most 'old wives tales' or 'nagging mothers reactions' (perhaps more to the point) tend to have some scientific basis on further analyses. Jachin 03:44, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Image dispute

File:Ball Lightning.jpg
Ball Lightning

This image is labelled as a "real photo" but the talk page for the image casts doubt on its reality. Perhaps we should mention something about the "student" who supposedly took the picture, in the article rather than showing the image as if having a picture proves something.

See also Image_talk:Ball_Lightning.jpg. --Uncle Ed 18:48, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Regardless, it's a shame there's not a picture[3] on this article yet. So, {{reqphoto}}. Gobonobo 08:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Image restored

The image is illustrative, even if it is a fake. There is an image of Nessie on the Loch Ness Monster page even though it may be a fake. I added a caption that informs the reader that it may not be a real photo. I believe the photo definitely adds a lot of value to the article. Robartin 20:43, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

new claim: two labs in berlin

I've seen ball lightning

Around 1954 in a small town in Western Massachusetts, myself and 2 other people witnessed what I now believe to be ball lightning. It was after a thunderstorm, although the rain had completely stopped and the air was calm and one sensed what I now know to be ionized air that can follow a thunderstorm. There is a railroad track that runs through the center of town and we were about to cross it when we saw 3-4 yellow-orange balls about mid-way between a softball and basketball in size, floating and drifting slowly in unison about 6 feet above one of the track rails about 4-5 feet apart from each other. We were at a distance of about 15 feet from them at first sight. There was no noise and they seemed to be aligned directly above the rail, all at the same height and distance apart. While the balls were quite round, the outer circumference was not smoothly delineated like a basketball outer covering, but was slightly irregular or less well defined. This phenonmeon lasted for 15-30 seconds and then as they got another 20 feet or so further away from us they seemed to sort of dissipate.

Link to possible ball lightning video

I noticed this clip on Metacafe that might be ball lightning. You can see a pulsating ball on the left near the end of the video. The ball floats for a bit before disappearing in what looks like a bolt of lightning. --Silvaran 01:35, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Ball Lightning Eye Witness

I observed ball lightning in the early morning hour of 2:15 a.m. June 27, 2006 during a windy rain storm while driving on NY State Rte. 23A in Greene County near Lexington. This is a very remote region in the Catskill Mountains. It was a ball of intensly bright white light in the sky just above the trees and lasted for approximately 6 seconds. It hovered in one spot and snuffed out similar to how the moon, over a period of days, slowly turns into a finger nail shape and then fades to black. It was very bright and made no sound that I heard (I was in a car). I was bone sober because I was going to work at a reservoir dam during the storm event. There was no other traffic or distractions. There was no "regular" lightning at the time. the ball was about the size of a basketball. 19:34, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

From "Reports"

The longest dimension observed is between fifteen and forty centimeters.

That's a pretty wide range. Does this mean that the largest ball of lightning alledgedly observed is somewhere between 15 and 40 cm, or does it mean that all alledged reports of ball lightning is between 15 and 45 cm. Also, do we have a source for this? Ian Manka Talk to me! 09:25, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Stylistic cleanup.

I happened by, thinking of writing an article on ball lighting, when what did I find but a page on it. The introduction had a few too many qualifiers, and the middle about foo fighters didn't read quite as I would have liked it, so I cleaned it up a bit.

--Dranzini 19:34, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Ball Lightning?

There was a storm over our area, a friend of mine and myself were watching TV, When for a fraction of a second, we saw a light out of the corner of my eye, totally white, and suddenly kind of popped or lightly exploded. My friend though that the antenna was hit, as there was a lightning strike very close by at the next second the ball exploded. Is Ball lightning still rare? I'd like to think so, as that was my guess on this unusual phenomena.

Scientific Writing

Interestingly, the German wikipage has far better style in scientific writing including references to scientific explanations. Guidod 10:18, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

black hole

The black hole explanation having been featured in new scientist perhaps needs to be extracted from the esoteric section and placed into it's own.--Energman 11:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Brazil / Silicon / New Scientist

Creating ball lightning

lab creates lgihtning for as long as eight seconds —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:50, 12 January 2007 (UTC).

I added this article as an external link. - JustinWick 01:05, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


I posted a slashdot comment containing a link to this article (2nd post, modded up) so keep on the lookout for vandals --frothT 12:54, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Lightening ball created in lab —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gavin86 (talkcontribs) 18:24, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

Knock it off!

I integrated this reference into the article as soon as it came out. Various people, who apparently don't take the time to read the article, keep adding a second reference. Stop it! --Art Carlson 08:37, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I do not think your tone is helpful. Lets have some less aggressive language to people just trying to help here. Second of all, is there a Wikipedia policy that states that because something is in the references section (and thus supporting a specific part of the article) means that it should not have an entry in the external links section? I didn't see the NS ref because I was looking at external links. Also, the reference to the online article is lame - it should use the appropriate citation as per my prior edit. - JustinWick 19:11, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Count it up. I cleaned up the redundant info not once, not twice, not three times, not even four times, but a total of five times! The clear language seemed necessary to get your attention. As for policy, I think this is pretty clear: Sites that have been used as references in the creation of an article should be linked in a references section, not an external links section. I don't understand what you consider "lame" about the reference. Is it that you think we should include the name of the journalist that wrote the news article? --Art Carlson 20:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

weld spatter

It sounds like a plausible hypothesis that some of the reports of ball lightning in the laboratory (and in nature as well?) result from weld spatter. But if it is your own idea, however good, then it is original research and cannot be included in Wikipedia. If you can provide a verifiable source for this idea, then we can put it back in. --Art Carlson 08:55, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

where did that crack pot idea come from? Dark knight sparda

Not crackpot, see, and accompanying video at "Weld spatter" balls are a longrunning theory also found under "Shorted Submarine battery bank" experiments, Russian "hot fractal network substance" BL theory: persistent phenomena coming from pulsed high-current discharge between close-spaced electrodes. They were earlier demonstrated by inventor Robert Golka on a UK television show about BL. DC arc welders produce glowing spatter which appears much larger than expected, but then decreases in diameter to form tiny beads of cooled metal. -- (talk) 23:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


I removed the following paragraph - not sure how much of it was actually valid...

Ball lightning really occurs due to the electric discharge of the positively charged sky and the negatively charged earth. The formation of Ball is due to the friction between the atmospheric molecules of air. The lightning when Starts coming down to earth, it takes few milli seconds of time to form a ball of semi solid that is a collidal state of Air molecules,heat,fire,light. The ball may be of different sizes. This is based on the effect that was created by the Earth's terrestrial magnetic field.. Source: Discovery Channel. Mail me in case of any doubt.

BlueRaja 08:52, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


On the main page of Wikipedia Ball lightning, reference 9. There is an article (newscientist) detailing an experiment that produced ball lightning in the lab, and it says the phenomena emitted jets. Many witnesses to these objects have reported such things as beams, rays - "jets!" Perhaps this should be mentioned on the main page. (User:Nosut, 19:30, 5 April 2007)

I wasn't aware that that is a common observation. Do you have a source for it? --Art Carlson 09:35, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks Art. Art I look on the NewScientists report as the source. It mentions Jets. Most people who witness this stuff don't have a clue about physics or what they are seeing and remain nameless. E.G:
Unless you consider Peter van Doorn, Director of BL Research as a saurce? (User Nosut, 21:10, 6 April 07)

Ball Lightning sighting

In 1969, when I was 9, I had an encounter with ball lightning. We lived in a rowhouse in Philadelphia, PA. Behind the house was an unusally large open driveway and garage area. Electrical and phone lines ran on the houses at roofline level. Sometime that August we had a really bad storm. After things quieted down I went to bed. As I lay there, facing the window I could see a pulsating yellowish glow coming from the right, growing brighter. Then a ball of light approx twelve inches around bounce-floated by as if attracted by the wires. I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. It smelled like ozone and hissed slightly. I watched it until it vanished around the corner of the houses about two hundred feet away. It was whiteish yellow and was clearly glowing. I have had a lifelong interest in meterology since that day with no interest prior to that time.( 01:39, 13 June 2007 (UTC))

Introduction: What is ball lightning?

This is the current introduction: "Ball lightning reportedly takes the form of a glowing, floating object often the size and shape of a basketball, but it can also be golf ball sized or smaller. It is sometimes associated with thunderstorms, but unlike lightning flashes arcing between two points, which last a small fraction of a second, ball lightning reportedly lasts many seconds. There have been some reports of production of a similar phenomenon in the laboratory, but some still disagree on whether it is the same phenomenon."

It does not tell the reader just what ball lightning is. It tells what it looks like, which is nice, but WHAT is it?VDZ 21:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd say the article as a whole makes it pretty clear that it's still a total mystery. Scientists have not yet confirmed ball lightning's nature or substance, or officially managed to reproduce it. Multiple possibilities are mentioned, including ionized plasma, an electric induction phenomenon, or an optical illusion (although cites are still needed on some of these). All that we know for sure, therefore, is what it looks like — rather like how we knew what X-rays were like and what they did before figuring out what they are. Lenoxus " * " 16:09, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ball lightning/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

It seems like it needs some copyedition. Not of very high importance within the field of physics Snailwalker

Last edited at 16:15, 15 October 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 20:05, 2 May 2016 (UTC)