What is 5 times hotter than the Sun?
The bolt of lightning is heaps hotter than the Sun. The surface of the Sun has a temperature of 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit or 6,000 Kelvin. Whereas a lightning bolt can reach a temperature of 53,540 degrees Fahrenheit or 30,000 Kelvin, which is 5 times hotter than the Sun!
The Sun is made up of 4 layers. Diving deep into its core, we can find temperatures of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. But how does a stroke of lightning reach the temperature which is 5 times hotter than the Sun?
Robert H. Holzworth, a physics professor from The University of Washington, says:
“You can get an efficient charge transfer, so that you get positive and negative charges separated by the bouncing ice”. It turns out that when you have ice collisions, there are some possibilities that at certain places in the cloud, smaller ice formations such as snowflakes are going to get charged positive, leaving behind negative charge on the hail stones. The lighter, positively charged ice particles continue to rise towards the top of the clouds. Meanwhile, the heavy and negatively charged ice particles plummet, thus separating the charge. This process is known as “gravity separation” and creates a strong electric field, which in turn ionizes the air around the cloud, separating air molecules into positive ions and electrons. Electrons move far more easily in ionized air. Once a channel of ionized air is established from the cloud to the ground, high-temperature current flows in the form of a lightning stroke and establishes a temperature which is 5 times hotter than the Sun!”