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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/603

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"RIBBON LIGHTNlNG."

"RIBBON LIGHTNING."
By ORANGE COOK.

IN the summer of 1898, W. H. Osborne, of Chardon, Ohio, an amateur photographer of some experience, secured the accompanying photograph of a lightning flash which seemed to us to show certain peculiarities that entitle it to a public notice and a permanent record. The picture shows three flashes, of which the distant and faint one at the right and the bright one at the left were simultaneous, while the center one occurred a few seconds earlier. Nothing about the thunder that followed the last and bright flash suggested that it was specially near, but an examination of the picture when developed and a comparison with the features of the landscape showed that it had come to earth about fifteen rods from the place where Mr. Osborne stood with his camera. Mr. Osborne

PSM V56 D0603 Ribbon lightning.png

and myself carefully searched the locality indicated, but failed to find even the slightest mark caused by the discharge upon any object or in the earth.

Measurements at this place give the width of the ribbon of light, if it stood at right angles with the line of sight, about eight feet. This ribbon of light is seen to consist of six lines, approximately parallel, of unequal brightness, a pair being at each edge and a pair near the center. The space between these pairs is crossed by many nearly horizontal lines and a few oblique ones, while that between the right-hand pair is crossed by oblique lines only. The horizontal lines at the right of the center become curved downward, which, with the increased brightness of the whole toward that side, suggests to us that the ribbon of light did not