We have now reached a point where we can ask ourselves whether the BL puzzle is complete: have we fitted all observations and the remaining theory into a convincing picture that leaves no room for alternative explanations? Well, the picture on the puzzle looks good: we have a singular means of BL creation which occurs when negative space charge of a suitable shape, constituted by free electrons, gets an energy burst causing it to emit radiation and create an object which is a localized electromagnetic structure. Indeed, electromagnetic theory predicts objects that could be the origin of ball lightning. It may very well be that the solution to this puzzle was hidden in plain sight for about 150 years. Currently, this is only a hypothesis, but it has a big advantage: it can be tested both by observation and by experiment.
- MacGorman, D. R. and Rust, W. D. (1998) The Electrical Nature of Storms, Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar