I've read about how noble gases in gas tubes emit varying colors of light when electricity is passed through them

For a planet with noble gas rich atmospheres (say >20%), would a lightning strike cause the local area around the strike to glow brightly in the color corresponding to that of the specific noble gas?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This question is probably better suited to the Physics stack. BTW, nitrogen has a nice purple glow when you pass electricity through it, but it's not easy to see with the naked eye in a typical lightning bolt. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Dec 21, 2021 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


Not all Noble Gases will glow when high voltage is passed through it (Radon is an exception), this needs a variety of factors that should be favorable to make the gas glow, such as pressure, temperature, density etc. And in your case if the planet's atmosphere is rich with only 20 percent of noble gas, it will never glow, The atmosphere should have atleast 50-60 percent in order to have the desired pressure and density. And you can't always expect the gas to glow, as all lightening strikes will not produce spectral emissions


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