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D) 54,000°F.

The current of electricity generated when lightning occurs heats air in its path to 54,000°F, which is five times hotter than the surface of the sun! That is HOT! The air expands so quickly due to this rapid increase in heat that a resounding loud noise is caused—we call that noise thunder! (a flash of lightning heats a thin column of air to temperatures near 54,000°F, while the surrounding air at ground level averages about 60°F to 70°F. This tremendous and instantaneous heating of air causes the air in the column to rapidly and explosively expand. It is this rapid expansion that produces the sound of thunder).


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