The temperature of the air around a bolt of lightning is about 54,000° Fahrenheit (30,000° Celsius). That temperature is six times hotter than the surface of the sun. It is a wonder that people who are struck by lightning can survive, but chances are the person won’t die as long as the lightning does not pass through the heart or spinal column.
Lightning has been measured at temperatures between 40,000 to 50,000°F, which is “five times hotter than the surface of the sun, and can contain as much as 200 million volts of electricity.” Scientists measure the temperature of lightning with a spectrometer, a device that disperses light into various bands of color, which match up to colors that represent the different temperatures of gasses in the air.
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