St. Elmo’s Fire — Not the movie!

St. Elmo’s fire is a bright blue or violet glow that usually appears on a sharp object like a lightning rod, ship’s mast, church steeple, chimney or airplane wings.  Even leaves, grass or cattle horns can show St. Elmo’s Fire.  It can sound like a hissing sound or a buzzing sound. St. Elmo’s Fire is a mixture of gas and plasma.  The electric field around the structure cause air molecules to ionize a faint glow, easily seen in low light situations.  The presence of  hydrogen and oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere causes the blue or violet color.

 

St. Elmo's Fire on an aircraft wing

St. Elmo’s Fire on an aircraft wing

 

A320 aircraft cockpit view of St. Elmo's fire on the windshield

A320 aircraft cockpit view of St. Elmo’s fire on the windshield

 

St. Elmo's Fire on a tip

St. Elmo’s Fire on a tip

 

St. Elmo's Fire on a chimney

St. Elmo’s Fire on a chimney

 

Leah's fun picture

Leah’s fun picture

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “St. Elmo’s Fire — Not the movie!

  1. very cool, Leah, and I like your personal photo

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