Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to know whether a lightning bolt travel from the ground to the sky or from the sky to the ground?

Alternatively, it could be both sides approaching

share|improve this question
    
I believe the earth is positively charged in comparison to the clouds - or conversely the clouds are negatively charged compared to the ground. So I'd say the electron current always comes down from the sky. Maybe this wikipage could help: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning#Discharge. –  Wouter Jan 27 '13 at 22:01
    
Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/55340/2451 and links therein. –  Qmechanic Sep 22 at 11:48

1 Answer 1

Yes it is: lightning in slow-mo
In general, both are possible, see: types of lightning

share|improve this answer
    
that's one of my favorite youtube videos. –  emarti Jan 27 '13 at 23:36

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.