Science and its Fact

Why do we see flashes of lightning before thunders?

FLASH! (Wait for it) Craack! A big sound of thunder and a spark of lightning!!

Every second, about 100 lightning bolts strike the Earth. Lightning is a gigantic electrical spark, that can be 5 miles (8 kilometers) long. It would take up to 80 million car batteries to equal the power of one thunderbolt. A single lightning flash has enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for three months!

It is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within the clouds.

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Fast Flashes
Light travels faster than sound. That’s why we usually see it before we hear the thunder. To determine how far the lightning storm is from you, count the seconds between the flash and the crack.

Speed of light: 3,00,000 m/s

Speed of Sound: 343 m/s

Let’s calculate the distance of clouds from the Earth

Watch for the flash of (from a safe location). Note down the time taken instantly, after you hear the thunder. Divide the number of seconds by 3. An answer is an approximate number of kilometers away.

For example, if the thunder rumbles 10 seconds after the flash, it is about 3.3-kilometers away.
Math: 10 seconds / 3 = 3.33 kilometers

How did we calculate: Considering the distance traveled by light and sound as same, the time taken by light to reach us is negligible as it travels around 3,00,000 in a second. Sound travels 343 meters every second. Every delay of one second in hearing the thunder after lightning equals 343 meters.

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