Researchers have observed what seems to be the earliest acknowledged account of an unprecedented climate phenomenon called ball lightning in England.
Ball lightning, normally associated with thunderstorms, is unexplained and has been defined as a shiny round item on average 25 centimetres, but on occasion up to numerous meters, in diameter.
Working together, physicist Emeritus Professor Brian Tanner and historian Professor Giles Gasper, of Durham University, UK, made the relationship to a ball lightning event whilst exploring a medieval text written a few 750 years in the past.
The account, by way of the 12th century Benedictine monk Gervase of Christ Church Cathedral Priory, Canterbury, pre-dates the preceding earliest acknowledged description of ball lightning recorded in England with the aid of almost 450 years.
The findings are posted in the Royal Meteorological Society’s journal, Weather.
In his Chronicle, composed around 1200, Gervase said that “a marvellous signal descended close to London” on 7 June 1195. He went on to explain a dense and dark cloud, emitting a white substance which grew right into a spherical form under the cloud, from which a fiery globe fell toward the river.
The Durham researchers compared the textual content in Gervase’s Chronicle with historical and modern reviews of ball lightning.
Prior to this account, the earliest document of ball lightning from England is a remarkable thunderstorm in Widecombe, Devon on 21 October 1638.
Medieval writings not often live to tell the tale in the writer’s original model. Gervase’s Chronicle and different works now exist in handiest 3 manuscripts. The Latin textual content was edited by using Bishop William Stubbs in 1879. There is no translation into English.
The researchers checked out Gervase’s credibility as an author and a witness. They examined his statistics of eclipses and an outline of the splitting of the picture of the crescent moon.