# Does lightning move at the speed of light?

While the flashes we see as a result of a lightning strike travel at the speed of light (670,000,000 mph) an actual lightning strike travels at a comparatively gentle 270,000 mph. What’s faster light or lightning? The average speed of lightning is not as fast as the speed of light, which is 299,792,458 meters per second.

If not, how fast and if so why does it look as if you can see it’s travels down to the ground? The bottom tip of a lightning bolt traveling from a cloud to the ground does travel rather quickly, although it travels at much less than the speed of light.

## Does Lightning travel faster than the speed of sound?

If you’re asking whether the light from a lightning flash travels faster than sound, a couple of other folks have already answered this. The speed of light is about a million times faster than the speed of sound in air. You see the flash of a distant stroke, but the sound of the thunder lags by about 5 seconds for each mile of distance.

How fast does Lightning travel through the air?

The light generated by the lightning-bolt current will travel at the same speed as other light travelling through air: at 0.997c, (i. e. almost the speed of light in a vacuum, c).

Like other forms of light, the light emitted from the lightning travels near the speed of light. This speed is near 300,000,000 meters per second. Thunder is the vibration that is emitted by the rapid expansion and contraction of air.

One way to consider this is lightning travels at the speed of light, about 186,000 miles per second. Thunder travels much slower, at the speed of sound, about 1088 feet per second. It takes sound about 5 seconds to travel one mile.

Another popular question is “How far does Thunder travel at the speed of sound?”.

Thunder travels at the speed of sound and has a value of about 340 meters per second. The speed of sound in air at sea level moves about 1 mile every 5 seconds. Thus, when you see the lightning count the seconds and divide by 5 to get the approximate distance that the sound of thunder originates from.

## Does lightning follow thunder?

Yes, there will always be thunder after you see lightning. It all depends on how close you are to the lightning strike. Thunder is the result of lightning heating up the air to as hot as 50,000 degrees.

Sometimes lightning may be seen before the thunder is heard and this is because the distance between the clouds and the surface is very long and the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound and hence lightning can be seen before the thunder is heard.

Is there always thunder after lightning? How far away is a lightning strike if you hear the thunderclap? How do I tell how far away lightning is? Why is thunder louder at the beach? What does it mean if you see lightning but don’t hear thunder? Why do I hear thunder but see no lightning? Can thunder shake a house?, and more items.

One more query we ran across in our research was “Is it possible to hear thunder without seeing Lightning?”.

Yes it is possible to hear the thunder and not see the lightning during bright daylight. The thunder cloud may be close enough to hear the thunder but if the lightning is inside the cloud and with the bright surrounding sunlight you may not see the lightning.

## Does the leader travel faster than the speed of light?

No, according to [1], which is referenced by Wikipedia, the leader travels at 61 km/s and the return stroke at 27800 km/s. These speeds are much less than the speed of light (299792 km/s). This is because the leader moves in steps of several tens on metres in less than a microsecond (μs), but these steps have an interval of the order of 50 μs.

The term “light” mostly refers to visible light, which is responsible for the sense of sight in the human eye. Wavelengths around 400-700 nano-meters make up visible light. Light travels at 186,282 meters per second (670,616,629 mph), so in theory, nothing moves faster than the speed of light. The speed of sound is.