St. Elmo’s Fire A Weather Phenomenon (Video)

St. Elmo’s fire on Masts of Ship at Sea

Image via Wikipedia

St. Elmo’s fire (also St. Elmo’s light) is an electrical weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge originating from a grounded object in an atmospheric electric field (such as those generated by thunderstorms created by a volcanic explosion).

St. Elmo’s fire is named after St. Erasmus of Formiae (also called St. Elmo, the Italian name for St. Erasmus), the patron saint of sailors. The phenomenon sometimes appeared on ships at sea during thunderstorms and was regarded by sailors with religious awe for its glowing ball of light, accounting for the name.

Physically, St. Elmo’s fire is a bright blue or violet glow, appearing like fire in some circumstances, from tall, sharply pointed structures such as lightning rods, masts, spires and chimneys, and on aircraft wings. St. Elmo’s fire can also appear on leaves, grass, and even at the tips of cattle horns. Often accompanying the glow is a distinct hissing or buzzing sound. Wikipedia.

Can you imagine just for a minute, your standing admiring the view of the countryside, watching the cattle just going about their daily business, you can see a storm approaching, doesn’t look too bad, you continue to watch and admire the surroundings, when all of a sudden, electricity starts coming out of the horns of one of the cattle. First instinct RUN.

I think if I saw this coming from a plane I was on, it would scare the living daylights out of me. (Yes I’m a brave person) but I find this fascinating, how this can occur.

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2 Responses to St. Elmo’s Fire A Weather Phenomenon (Video)

  1. malc50 says:

    Hi mags, Thanks for that – reminds me of the static electricity ball from Science experiments. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PqXJ52uZyM). Have a good day! Cheers, Mal. (Are you jurying again today?)

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Mal,
      Good video, yes it’s sort of like that isn’t it. It’s all really fascinating.

      Don’t have to do jury service today, maybe tomorrow, they’ll let me know this afternoon.

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