posted on May, 26 2010 @ 03:25 AM
Originally posted by earth2
Copyrighted Photo by and Courtesy of Waddy Thompson
Can anyone post a high resolution version of this picture? This one is really low resolution. I looked on his gallery link and can't find it there,
but he's got a great gallery. And apparently I need a facebook account to see his facebook version and I don't have one and don't want one, but I
would like to see it in more detail. The enlargement posted is nice but it cuts off the top.
After looking at this guys gallery, I doubt it's a fake as some have suggested.
I have doubts about it being a waterspout but I can't rule it out yet with 100% certainty.
I'm wondering if there's any possibility it might be some type of shock wave from the lightning bolt condensing moisture in the atmosphere, but he
said the shutter speed was 0.125 second so I'm not sure this is what we see, and also if it was a shock wave, I'd expect the lightning to be more
centered in the shock wave.
Maybe we should ask him how humid the air was, since a condensation effect from a shock wave would only occur if the air was humid:
When a nuclear weapon or a large amount of a conventional explosive is detonated in sufficiently humid air, the "negative phase" of the shock
wave causes a rarefaction (reduction in density) of the air surrounding the explosion, but not contained within it. This rarefaction results in a
temporary cooling of that air, which causes a condensation of some of the water vapor contained in it. When the pressure and the temperature return to
normal, the Wilson cloud dissipates.
Since heat does not leave the affected air mass, this change of pressure is adiabatic, with an associated change of temperature. In humid air, the
drop in temperature in the most rarefied portion of the shock wave can bring the air temperature below its dew point, at which moisture condenses to
form a visible cloud of microscopic water droplets. Since the pressure effect of the wave is reduced by its expansion (the same pressure effect is
spread over a larger radius), the vapor effect also has a limited radius.
The outward-moving pulse that results is a shock wave,  similar in principle to the shock wave formed by an explosion, or at the front of a
supersonic aircraft. More recently, the consensus around the cause of the shock wave has been eroded by the observation that measured overpressures in
simulated lightning are greater than what could be achieved by the amount of heating found. Alternative proposals rely on electrodynamic effects of
the massive current acting on the plasma in the bolt of lightning.
It looks similar to a shock wave but I'm not sure the exposure timing, the duration of the lightning flash, etc allow the shock wave (or illuminated
condensation droplets formed by it) to be photographed under these conditions.
But if I can see a higher resolution picture, I might get some more clues about what this photo is showing.