A lightning flash preceding its thunder by one second would be approximately 343 m (1,125 ft) in distance; a delay of three seconds would indicate a distance of about 1 km or 0.62 mi (3 × 343 m). LIGHTNING OVERVIEW - PHENOMENON TRUE See the example on the next page. How can I tell how far I am from the lightning? A flash preceding thunder by five seconds would indicate a distance of approximately 1.7 km or 1.1 mi (5 × 343 m). Like other forms of light, the light emitted from the lightning travels near the speed of light. This speed is near 300,000,000 meters per second. The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second), and in theory nothing can travel faster than light. 1 Meter per second (m/s) is equal to 3.28084 feet per second (ft/s). After you see lightning, count the number of seconds until you hear thunder. From these two entries you will have your results expressed in a number of forms. You will have distance per time such as kilometres per hour or metres per second. The "leader", the first stroke of a lightning discharge, actually proceeds in steps -- lengthening by about 30 meters at a time, taking about a microsecond (one millionth of a second) to do each step. There is a pause between steps of about 50 microseconds. Speed of light: 3 x 108 meters per second (m/s) or 2 x 105 miles per second (mi/s). How to convert m/s to ft/s? The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is a universal physical constant important in many areas of physics.Its exact value is defined as 299 792 458 metres per second (approximately 300 000 km/s, or 186 000 mi/s).It is exact because, by international agreement, a metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1 â 299 792 458 second. How fast is a lightning? It is symbolized as mps or m/s. Wilma watchers in the late 1950s and early '60s were admonished: don't blink. These sparks travel at speeds that are fast even for lightningâaround 10 to 100 million meters per secondâand produce very powerful radiofrequency (RF) radiation as high as â¦ Lightening travels at a blazing 186,000 miles (299,000 kilometers) per second. Lightning is the flash of light that occurs when charge separation occurs. Speed of sound: 340 m/s or 0.21 mi/s. The speed of light in vacuum is:186,282 miles per second.299,792,458 meters per second. Meters per second is a metric system speed unit to express the number of meters covered in one second. You will also have time taken to travel certain distances such as seconds per metre or seconds per 100 meters. Follow Elizabeth Palermo on Twitter @ techEpalermo . At 5-foot-11 and 130 pounds, she was lightning fast. 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