# Why is lightning going from the Earth to the clouds while the electrons are going from the clouds to the Earth?

The lightning is often a discharge in advance. The (negative) charge slide occasionally a little further on in the conductive channel, wherein said channel is highlighted each time something. The lowering speed of the discharge is "only" about 1,500 kilometers per second.

The main discharge provides the lightning that we usually perceive (which appears from the clouds to the earth, but not in reality). After the discharge of this strong flow fills the entire channel. This is called the main discharge or sometimes the 'backlash' (return stroke).

This phenomenon, with intense light accompanied, moves at about 100,000 to 150,000 km / s from the earth to the cloud. In this situation, the electrons move down and our speech becomes the current direction counted up. After all, the electric current runs from plus to minus, as opposed to the electrons.

But the question now is how electrons that emerge give a flash of light which goes up?

• "to the wolk" Dutchie detected – Danu Feb 20 '16 at 9:00
• Ja vreemd, google vertaalde dat ene woord niet – Marijn Feb 20 '16 at 9:10
• historical convention has electric current flowing from positive to negative, it's generally just moving electrons now. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity#Electric_current – chaz327 Feb 20 '16 at 14:50
• I know the current is from positive to negative. So that means that the electrons are going from negative cloud to the positive ground, but the lightening it self goed the opposite direction – Marijn Feb 20 '16 at 16:45
• have a look at the answers here physics.stackexchange.com/questions/71196/… – anna v Sep 25 '16 at 7:59

I don't know much about meteorology, but try this out:

Consider this: if you have a transparent tube full of air and a burst of water is pushed along it in one direction, you'll see this blob of water pass in the direction of water flow.

Now consider this: If you have a transparent tube full of water, and a burst of air is pushed along it in the opposite direction from the first tube, you'll see this blob of air pass in the direction of airflow.

But isn't the the second situation the same as the first, as far as which way water and air are traveling? The only different physically is what we view as the "stationary object" (guided by visual heuristics).

Just so, semiconductor device theory describes the movement of holes in this way as a valid manifestation of electrical current.

By analogy, it doesn't matter if an ionized channel (made of gas) is extending toward earth (the first part with a "leader" traveling towards the earth), or if electrons are sliding along the fully opened channel toward the sky. Our perception of which way the charges are moving is based on movement against the background, not the direct physical trajectory of electrons specifically.

Positive and negative leaders can even move toward each other, as in this great picture from the above link:

Does that help?