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St. Elmo's fire




Also known as corposant, the glowing electrical discharge seen at the tips of tall, pointed objects – church spires, ship's masts, airplane wings, etc. – in stormy weather. The negative electrical charge on the storm clouds induces a positive charge on the tall structure. The impressive display is named (corruptly) for St. Erasmus, patron saint of sailors.


Related category

   • ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA AND STRUCTURES