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Close view of the lightning attachment process unveils the streamer zone fine structure
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  • Marcelo Magalhães Fares Saba,
  • Diego Rhamon Reis da Silva,
  • John G Pantuso,
  • Caitano da Silva
Marcelo Magalhães Fares Saba
INPE - National Institute for Space Research

Corresponding Author:marcelo.saba@inpe.br

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Diego Rhamon Reis da Silva
INPE - National Institute for Space Research
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John G Pantuso
New Mexico Tech
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Caitano da Silva
New Mexico Tech
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Abstract

A very close high-speed video observation of lightning attachment to a building revealed novel details regarding the leader streamer zone dynamics. Upward leaders propagate in a steady and unbranched manner, displaying a uniformly luminous corona brush. The exception being the upward connecting leader (UCL) just before connection, when its streamer zone increases in size and develops a more filamentary pattern. Downward negative leaders have 3-m long multiple streamers emanating from each negative leader tip. In some occasions, plasma formations known as space stems are seen to form in the location previously occupied by negative streamers. Space stems have luminosities comparable to the main leader channel, but are detached from it by 4 m. Some space stems display streamers of their own, including cases where streamers are emanating from both ends. The space stem formation hampered the propagation of the negative leader that was closest to the UCL.