THE HIDDEN POWER IN LIGHTNING
One Bolt Of Lightning Produces More
Electricity Than The USA
night, in heavy rain, the sky is suddenly lit up, followed shortly after
by a violent noise. Do you know how the magnificent lightning that so
illuminates the sky comes about? Do you know how much light it emits?
Or how much heat it gives off?
A flash of lightning is the bright light which forms during
the release of the electricity in the atmosphere during rainstorms.
But when does this bright light form? Lightning can happen when electrical
tension in two separate points in the atmosphere-within a single cloud,
or between a cloud and the ground, or between two grounds-reaches a
Light bolts happen in the form of at least two strikes.
In the first release a negative (-) charge flows from the cloud to the
ground. This is not a particularly bright flash. A number of branches
can generally be seen spreading out from the main channel. As this first
strike reaches the ground, an opposite charge forms at the point it
will hit and a second positive charge-bearing current forms from within
that same channel directly to the cloud. The two flashes generally meet
about 50 metres above the ground. A short circuit forms at the conjunction
between the cloud and the ground, as a result of which a very bright
strong electric current heads from inside the channel to the cloud.
The potential difference in this current between the cloud and the ground
is greater than several million volts.
More Electricity Production Than
Thousands of Generating Stations
The energy given off by a single bolt of lightning is greater
than that produced in all the electricity generating stations in America.
The temperature in the channel where the lightning forms can be as high
as 10,000 degrees Celsius. The temperature in kilns for melting iron
is between 1,050 and 1,100 degrees. The heat given off by the smallest
bolt of lightning is ten times this. This terrible heat means that lightning
can easily burn and destroy all the elements on Earth. To make another
comparison, the surface temperature of the Sun is as much as 700,000
degrees. In other words, the temperature of lightning is 1/70th of that
of the surface of the Sun. The light emitted by lightning is greater
than that given off by 10 million 100-watt bulbs. For purposes of comparison,
a single lightning bolt illuminates its surroundings more than if one
bulb is lit in every house in Istanbul. Allah draws attention to this
wondrous brightness of lightning in the Qur'an,
. . . The brightness of His lightning almost
blinds the sight. (Surat an-Nur: 43)
Which Arises In Half A Second
•An average streak of lightning
can power a 100-watt bulb for more than 3 months.
•The air temperature where lightning strikes rises
by as much as 25,000 degrees.
•It travels at 150,000 km/second. Lightning's average
thickness is 2.5-5 cm.
•Lightning produces nitrogen molecules, which are
important for the survival of the Earth's vegetation cover.
•An average lightning strike contains an electrical
force of 20,000 amps. A welder uses 250-400 amps to weld
•Lightning moves at 150,000 km/second, or half the
speed of light, and 100,000 times faster than sound.
The bolt which forms descends to earth very rapidly,
at 96,000 kmph. The first strike reaches the conjunction or surface
in 20 milliseconds, and the return strike returns to the cloud in
70 microseconds. Lightning lasts a total of up to half a second. The
reason for the thunder which accompanies it stems from the sudden
heating of the air around the channel. As a result of this, the air
expands at a speed greater than that of sound, although the shock
wave returns to being a normal sound wave within a few metres. The
sound waves are formed according to the later atmospheric air and
surface shapes. That is the reason for consecutive thunder and lightning.
When we bear all of these properties of lightning in mind
we can see that this phenomenon is a miraculous one. The way that such
a tremendous force emerges from positively and negatively charged particles,
invisible to the naked eye, shows that lightning is consciously created.
Furthermore, the fact that nitrogen molecules, so beneficial to plants,
emerge from this force again proves that lightning was created with
a particular wisdom. (For details see Harun
Yahya, Design in Nature, Taha Publishers, UK, 2001.)
Allah specifically draws our attention to lightning in
the Qur'an. The meaning of Surat ar-Rad, one of the Suras of the Qur'an,
is actually 'Thunder.' In those verses regarding lightning Allah reveals
that He presents lightning to people as a source of fear and hope.
Indeed, a lightning strike is a sign that it is about to rain, and
rain either brings hope, in the form of plentiful crops, or else frightens
people by causing such disasters as flooding or landslides. In Surat
ar-Rum Allah reveals that,
Among His Signs is that He shows you lightning,
a source of fear and eager hope, and sends down water from the sky,
bringing the dead earth back to life by it. There are certainly Signs
in that for people who use their intellect. (Surat ar-Rum: 24)
Allah has also revealed that the thunder which arises when
lightning strikes glorifies His praise. In that same verse He warns
people by stating that when He so wishes He sends lightning to punish
The thunder glorifies His praise,
as do the angels, out of fear of Him. He discharges the thunderbolts,
striking with them anyone He wills. Yet still they argue about Allah
when He is inexorable in His power! (Surat ar-Ra'd:13)
Allah has created a number of signs for us in lightning.
We must think and give thanks that thunder, which many people have perhaps
never considered in this much detail and which inspires such feelings
of fear and hope in man, is a means by which fear of Allah increases
and is sent down by Him for specific purposes when He so chooses.