• Question: What causes lightning?

    Asked by flossieqb to Simon, Tim, Damien, Rachael, Suzi on 23 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by lucysmith, megaside.
    • Photo: Simon Bennett

      Simon Bennett answered on 15 Jun 2011:


      I am not really sure to be honest, I think the energy comes from a seperation of static charges, the same sort of charges that make your hair stand on end when you rub a ballon against it. There is still some debate about what triggers the lightning.

      Hope this helps.


    • Photo: Suzi Gage

      Suzi Gage answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      Hi everyone!
      Rachael and I have explained static electricity in another answer (here http://ias.im/58.352 ), and it’s basically this on a massive scale! As Simon says though, we’re not really sure what causes the charge to disperse as lightning though.

      Hope this helps a bit!