I am a junior in high school, and am working on a project to figure out what ball lighting is. I currently believe the name “ball lightning” probably covers a group of different phenomena. I started by doing research on the net. I found that little research has been done on the subject. Most include microwave experiments, the simplest of which involves putting a lit match in a microwave sticking straight up. When I tried it, it created what looked like a roughly ball shaped lightning or fire, the fire on the match got very big, and then broke off from the match and began to float along inside the top of my microwave leaving black marks along the top. I debated as to what this could be, and if it could be the "real" BL in nature. For a while I thought that it couldn't be the BL that was created in nature. For one reason, there are no microwave ovens in nature!! But eventually I began to think that this phenomenon in my microwave was probably being made when microwaves bombard the carbon atoms in the flame, exciting them more, causing them to combust again. So BL was nothing but a very slow burning fire!!! Again I was stuck, I couldn't think of any fuel, natural or man-made that would burn slow enough to create BL without any artificial helpers, like a microwave. Then I saw a cool trick where a person cupped their hands, filled them with butane, and lit it, creating a ball of fire. That is when I realized, it’s not slow burning fuel, but the low availability of oxygen that causes it to burn slow. So I took a very small plastic bottle, about 2.5x5 centimeters, added butane (wish I could measure how much) and lit it. Lo and behold, it created a ball of fire inside the plastic bottle, without burning the plastic!!! I realized I would have to be able to view this ball of fire from the side, so I grabbed a glass bottle about the same size, added butane and lit it. I saw that only the top of the butane was burning. In nature this could only happen when the oxygen content is low, and it would cause it to take on a rough ball form. Since that experiment I believe BL is simply a rough ball of slow burning gas. Normally the next step would be to find the exact definition of BL and make sure that a ball of fire is the same thing as a ball of lightning, but unfortunately the best definition for ball lightning that I have found is "a ball of light floating in the air”, which isn't very descriptive. So the next best thing is to see what a large group of intelligent people think. So… what do you think??