Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Detecting Very Distant Lightning with NV

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 careysub

careysub

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,709
  • Joined: 18 Feb 2011
  • Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Posted 06 October 2021 - 09:18 PM

We had our first rainy-ish weather this week in southern California, and I was out looking at wildlife (well, the neighborhood cats) with my Mod3 (using a nifty 50 mm F/1.3 thorium lens I have) at night and noticed frequent light flashes covering the ground, completely invisible to the naked eye. The sources were all too distant to produce audible thunder. 

 

Makes sense that faint distant lightning flashes could be visible with NV, I imagine the light was reflected off of clouds to get to my location.



#2 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,879
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 06 October 2021 - 09:23 PM

Carey,

 

I was once in a very dark sky in Arkansas and the whole sky lit up (not bright, but kind of like distant lightning brightening the whole sky), yet it was a very clear night. I was wondering if it was something like you describe above. Me and my observing partner were quite confused on what could have caused it. I was thinking maybe a transformer sparking or something.



#3 careysub

careysub

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,709
  • Joined: 18 Feb 2011
  • Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Posted 07 October 2021 - 09:52 AM

That clear sky experience is usually called "heat lighting", What you described seems captured by this statement in the WIkipedia "Heat Lightning" article:

 

"some fraction of the light emanating from distant thunderstorms (whose distant clouds may be so low to the horizon as to be essentially invisible) is scattered by the upper atmosphere and thus visible to remote observers"

 

In my situation we had a solid, but rather high, cloud deck. Under this condition I think distant lightning stroked in the basin area where reflecting off the cloud deck, producing faint flashes over a wide area, which is what I saw.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics