How It Works

What is St Elmo’s fire?

St Elmo’s fire can be described as a more or less continuous, luminous electrical discharge in the atmosphere, which emanates from elevated objects above the Earth’s surface. These objects can include lightning conductors, wind vanes, or on the wings, tips or propellers
of aircraft in flight. This electrical charge can also occur on an aircraft where a static charge has been produced by the frictional impact of ice, snow, rain, dust or sand. The phenomenon is usually of a bluish colour and has been seen as white or violet. When St Elmo’s fire is present, it can be accompanied by a crackling sound which occurs when the electrical field close to the object becomes very strong. St Elmo’s fire can also been termed ‘corposant’, which means ‘holy body’. There are several other types of electrical phenomenon including sprites and elves.

  • Jeff

    Thats pretty much what I understand ST ELOMOS fire to be,

    But where does the name originate

  • Paine

    St. Elmo’s fire is named after St. Erasmus of Formiae (also called St. Elmo, the Italian name for St. Erasmus), the patron saint of sailors. The phenomenon sometimes appeared on ships at sea during thunderstorms and was regarded by sailors with religious awe for its glowing ball of light, accounting for the name. – Wikipedia