Assuming that some distant planet had an atmosphere of helium and(due to extremely cold temperatures) a "water cycle" of neon, what would happen if the theoretical neon clouds acted in a similar way as Earth clouds, and generated lightning.

In short, what would happen or be different from Earth lighting if it formed in a Helium-Neon environment?

EDIT: Or an even simpler question, what happens when a tesla coil is activated in a helium envirnment?

Also further research has led me to believe that the neon would be too heavy to form true clouds, but now I'm hooked on the question and am real curious.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you thinking about helium-neon lasers? $\endgroup$ – S. McGrew Sep 1 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose it would be similar in some ways, though I am mostly curious as to what would happen were lightning to strike in a Helium-Neon environment. I'm unfamiliar with the electrodynamics of any of the noble gasses or how they would react in a massive electrical discharge such as a lightning lead. $\endgroup$ – Jack Foisy Sep 1 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ There's literature on electron-ion recombination in liquid helium, where the process involves a helium dimer which scintillates in the UV. The high-voltage, low-temperature community may have literature about discharges in liquid He. I don't know what would be different in the gas phase, but maybe lots. $\endgroup$ – rob Sep 2 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comment. I was able to find several articles 1 2 that touch on the processes you mentioned, and I did some more research on helium and lightning. So as of right now I'm going to go off the assumption that lightning would act very similarly in helium as it does in air, except that during the return stroke, the plasma induced channel would glow a bright orange. I'll leave this question open in case someone has a more complete answer. $\endgroup$ – Jack Foisy Sep 2 at 1:47

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