The color of plasma

  • Thread starter fawk3s
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Gas pressure has a lot to do with it too. Low pressure discharges tend to emit transitional lines whether electronic or molecular. Increasing the gas pressure causes the molecular lines to broaden.

Temperatures are indeed high for a high power arc like lightning which is why it looks blue-white. It's mostly black-body emission at a very high Kelvin temperature. And that's why the sprites and auroras are colored. Low pressure, low current density discharges. No longer thermal but electronic and molecular.
 

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