October 19, 2021
Lightning or atmospheric electrical discharge (AED) is a high-intensity electrical discharge that occurs in the atmosphere, between electrically charged regions, and can occur either inside a cloud (intrancloud) or between clouds (interclouds) or between a cloud and the earth (cloud-soil). Lightning is always accompanied by lightning (intense emission of electromagnetic radiation, which has components in the visible range of the spectrum), and thunder (roaring sound), in addition to other associated phenomena. Although intracloud and intercloud discharges are more frequent, cloud-to-ground discharges are of more practical interest to humans. Most of the lightning strikes in the tropical zone of the planet and mainly over the immersed lands, associated with convective phenomena which, when electrical activity is intense, result in thunderstorms. Some scientific theories consider that these electrical discharges may have been fundamental in the emergence of life, as well as helping to maintain it. In human history, lightning may have been the first source of fire, fundamental to technical development. In this way, the rays aroused fascination, being incorporated in countless legends and myths representing the power of the gods. Later scientific research revealed their electrical nature and since then the discharges have been constantly monitored for their association with storm systems. Due to the high intensity of the associated electrical voltages and currents, lightning is always dangerous. Thus, buildings in general, as well as energy transmission systems, need protection systems, which include lightning rods. However, even with shields (which are not always designed or constructed correctly), lightning still causes death and injury around the world. As high-energy phenomena, lightning usually manifests itself as an extremely luminous path that travels long distances, sometimes with branches. However, there are exotic forms, such as the globular ray, whose nature is unknown, and there are only reports of this phenomenon. The large variation in the electric field of discharges in the troposphere can give rise to transient light events in the upper atmosphere. Lightning also originates in other events such as volcanic eruptions, nuclear explosions and sandstorms. Artificial methods are also used to create atmospheric discharges for scientific purposes. Rays also occur on other planets in the Solar System, especially Jupiter and Saturn.