Class 8 Science

Natural Phenomena


Lightning is observed as a bright streak of light during a thunderstorm. Lightning is always accompanied by the sound of thunder. The transfer of charge from clouds to the earth or from cloud to cloud is called lightning. In simple words; lightning is an electric spark which happens on a grand scale in the sky.

Mechanism of Lightning

mechanism of lightning

Air is a bad conductor of electricity under normal circumstances. But when the amount of charge becomes too much in the clouds, the air is not in a position to hold on to this charge. As a result, the electric charge is transferred to the ground. This appears like a bright streak of light across the sky; which lasts for a few seconds.

Dangers of Lightning:

Lightning can damage houses and trees. It can also kill people and cattle. Sometimes, lightning can main a person for life.

Safety During Lightning:

Lightning Conductor:

This is a simple device which protects a building from being hit by lightning. It is composed of a vertical metallic rod which usually has a trident at the top. The base of the metallic rod is attached to thick metallic wire; which goes very deep inside the earth. This metallic wire provides a passage for earthing.

When lightning strikes, electric charge goes to the lightning conductor and it then goes to earth. Thus, a lightning conductor helps in preventing any damage to the building.