February - halos You are here: Home Photo gallery Lightning Related phenomena Coronal discharge

This gallery shows photos of artificially created St. Elmo's fire - or coronal discharge. This corona was made using a homemade 50KV power supply with a needle soldered on the HV point. Photography with a long exposure in a dark room shows the faint blue discharge. The blue light is created when the electric field near the tip of the pin is strong enough to ionize air molecules. The free ions and electrons create a conductive plasma, in which electrons and ions recombine, emitting light. Natural St. Elmo's fire can sometimes be seen engulfing tall objects (trees, antennas, chimneys and the like) when a thunderstorm is nearby or overhead.

3 photos in gallery
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