Breakdown: Why lightning can get hotter than the sun

Breakdown: Why lightning can get hotter than the sun

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Lightning can cause extensive damage and sometimes even results in fires. One of the reasons why is because of the energy and heat emitted from a lightning strike.

Lightning can get five times hotter than the sun. The surface of the sun is estimated to be 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a lightning strike can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is because air is a poor conductor of heat, so it gets extremely hot when the electricity (lightning) passes through it. Specifically, cloud to ground lightning results in the largest temperature jumps since it has more air to pass through before reaching the surface.

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