Weather Labs – Lightning Light Tube (Episode 5)

Weather Lab

On this episode of Weather Labs with 18 Storm Team Meteorologist, Austin Evans, we are talking lightning once again! This time, it will be more visually interesting. Here is what you will need:
-Balloon (latex or rubber)
-Fluorescent light tube (Be careful with these, they’re fragile and often contain poisonous gas)
-A dark room
-Wool sweater (or a decent head of hair without much product in it)

Blow up the balloon and tie it off. Rub the balloon on your sweater or hair to build a static charge and hold it near the end of the light tube. The light tube will begin to light up as the static charge disperses. The darker the room the better this will be visual.

Lightning is the discharge of build-up charges between the cloud and the ground, obviously on a giant scale. When the when the charges equalize, a lightning strike is visible. This happens when the opposing charges get too great. Lightning is extremely dangerous and wildly intense, this experiment is a good way to visualize lightning while staying safe.

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