Saint Elmo's Fire



 

Saint Elmo's Fire is a glow like halo which can sometimes be seen around pointed buildings in stormy weather or around an aircraft flying in stormy air or dry snow. It has also been seen around the top of a ship's mast.

Sailors once thought that the glow of St. Elmo's Fire around a ship's mast indicated saintly protection. It occurs because large electric forces arise around the pointed ends of objects. These forces pull electrons from the molecules in the air until they collide with other molecules. Light is given off in the collision.

 

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