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Beyond the Lone Islands

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Thunder and Lightning


I did not attend the official opening of the sculpture festival on Friday afternoon. The clouds were gathering around noon…

And then Thor threw his hammer again.


Thor’s hammer

In Old Norse mythology, the god Thor rode through the heavens on a chariot pulled by two goats. Thor was known for his quick and hot temper. Lightning flashed whenever he threw his hammer Mjollnir ("crusher") which would return to his hand again after being thrown.

Thor was foremost of the gods to the common man and widely worshiped. Hammer shaped amulets were worn about the neck well into the Christianization of Scandinavia. Molds have been found which contain both cross and hammer shapes, side by side. His name occurs in numerous place names; and also lives on in one of the days of the week: Thursday. (Swedish: torsdag) Thor is associated to the Roman god Jupiter, the German god Donar, and the Anglo-Saxon god Thunor.


*A flash of lightning, followed after some seconds by a rumble of thunder is, for many people, the first illustration of the fact that sound travels more slowly than light.

*Lightning is approximately one kilometer distant for every 2.9 seconds that elapse between the visible flash and the first sound of thunder (or one mile for every 4.6 seconds).

*A flash of lightning and a simultaneous sharp "crack" of thunder indicates that the lightning strike was very near.


Ginny said...

Love this post and didn't know any of it!! I guess he had a boomerang hammer! Sorry you didn't make it to the opening, but you gave us something just as good!!

GB said...

I was very very young when I learned to count between the flash and the noise and knew that for every 5 I counted the storm was a mile away. I still do it!

Sandra said...

we live in the lightning capitol of the USA. i am terrified of it and this was very interesting. i stay away from windows, no water, no telephone until it is gone.


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