Lightning and Thunder
Type of Lesson: Experiment
Time Needed: 10 minutes
MEGOSE EAW1 Describe the atmosphere.
MEGOSE EAW2 Describe weather conditions and climates.
MEGOSE EAW3 Describe seasonal changes in weather.
MEGOSE EAW4 Explain appropriate safety precautions during severe weather.
MEGOSE EAW6 Describe patterns of changing weather and how they are measured.
MEGOSE EAW10 Explain and predict general weather patterns and storms.
Quick Summary of Lesson
This lesson shows you how to figure out how far away a thunderstorm is.
Maybe a calculator if you want!
It takes 3 seconds for sound to travel 1 kilometer (5 seconds to travel 1
1. The next time a thunderstorm comes your way, look out your bedroom window and watch for lightning. When you see a lightning flash
count the number of seconds until you hear thunder. Use the above
calculation to figure out how far away the thunderstorm is.
Example: You see lightning flash across the sky. 15 seconds
later you hear thunder. How far away was the lightning bolt?
Answer: 5 kilometers away
Notes to the Teacher
This is obviously not an activity you can plan to do ahead of time...because you can't plan when a thunderstorm will be. It is a good little activity that ties math and science together that is good to have on-hand.
Need More Information? Try Using Windows to the Universe
Please use these links for further ideas or more information:
The Earth's atmosphere
The science behind this activity
Types of thunderstorms
Last modified prior to September, 2000 by the Windows Team
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