Q:

Does lightning come from the ground?

A:

Quick Answer

Lightning originates in the sky, but the part of the cloud-to-ground lightning visible to the human eye comes from the positive electrical charge that responds to the invisible negative electrical charge sent from the clouds. Lightning helps the ground and the atmosphere exchange and balance positive and negative energy.

Continue Reading
Does lightning come from the ground?
Credit: Cultura Science/Jason Persoff Stormdoctor Stone Getty Images

Full Answer

Lightning is caused by electrical charges in the atmosphere. As opposite charges build up, they break through the insulation provided by the air and send an electrical burst within the cloud, to the ground or to another cloud. The lightning can come as either a positive or negative charge. Positively charged lightning is more dangerous to people than negatively charged lightning.

Learn more about Electricity
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What makes lightning?

    A:

    Lightning is caused by an electric current inside a thundercloud that connects with the ground beneath the cloud. Lightning occurs when tiny pieces of ice start bumping into one another as they travel through the air. The collisions of ice generate an electric charge inside the cloud.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of a lightning rod?

    A:

    A lightning rod conducts a positive charge up to meet the negative charge of a lightning strike, allowing the strike to hit the rod and travel through attached wires to an underground connection. This diverts the strike away from a building, preventing or lessening potential damage, according to About.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do tall buildings have lightning conductors?

    A:

    Tall buildings have lightning conductors to help transport the electrical current from a lightening strike to the ground safely. This protects the structure's electrical equipment and the materials used within the building.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does lightning come from the ground or the sky?

    A:

    Lightning can come from the ground or the sky. It can be discharged from one cloud to another, from a cloud to the surface, from the ground to the sky or from within a thundercloud. Lightning that originates from the surface is often forked, with the tips pointing in an upward direction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore