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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ghost Lights: Ball Lightning

Marfa Ghost Lights
Marfa Ghost Lights (Texas)
Ghost Lights are sometimes classified as ball lightning, especially when they appear indoors or during a thunderstorm.  Theories as to what comprises Ghost Lights include combustible methane (marsh gas), light from distant stars or planets refracting through atmospheric layers, headlights of traffic from a distance, concentrated magnetic force, nearby mineral deposits, and more -- however, most credible sightings of Ghost Lights defy explanation.  Ball lightning is often described as acting as though it were under intelligent control, or had a mind of its own.

However, most self-proclaimed atmospheric "experts" dismiss the ball lightning theory out-of-hand, noting that only surface similarities with Ghost Lights exist.  Ball lightning is a proven phenomenon that continues to intrigue researchers.  Strikes typically last under one to two minutes near, and after, a lightning strike or thunderstorm.  Many times, ball lightning dissipates violently, exploding with a sulfuric smell.

Ghost Lights, also known as faerie fires, are harmless and appear repeatedly in the same location over a lengthy period, regardless of atmospheric conditions.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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