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How far can lightning travel?

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Quick Answer

The longest lightning bolt ever recorded traveled a distance of 118 miles. The average length of most lightning strikes is said to be only six miles, although bolts have been known to travel up to 50 miles away from their parent storm.

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Full Answer

Lightning is the result of a complex interaction that takes place between the charged particles found in a thunderstorm. The vast majority of lightning strikes occur within 10 miles of their parent storms, although strikes can occur at much greater distances. A single lightning bolt can carry a charge of up to a billion volts and reach temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun.

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