Why Do Sky Lanterns Fly?

The sight of sky lanterns is intriguing; they never cease to astonish me. I constantly wonder how they work, what makes them rise up into the sky and stay there for such a long time just before they descend back to earth. I realize it has to be rely on the laws of physics laws but I want far more comprehensive clarification of how this special object works through the wonders of science.

Sky Lanterns have become a frequent sight in recent years. They are normally seen and are popular in ceremonies and anniversaries. There are not that many individuals who would claim they are not mesmerized or enchanted by the sight of these lanterns or flying lanterns as they are also known. As they light up the skies either at nighttime or of course in the day time, you can’t but acclaim this really is physics in action. I did a little bit of research and arrived up to what best explains how this object is lifted into your sky and stays there for at least length 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

The basic principle is the use of very hot air rising upwards in a cooler atmosphere. When hot air fills the sky flying lantern, thus heating it, the response and direct consequence is that the sky lantern rises upwards, similar to a larger hot air balloon. This is because hot air is lighter than cooler denser air, hence the reason why the flying lantern starts flying or indeed floats upwards. The body collects hot air which is created by the heat from the wax fuel cell which it lit prior to the lantern launch. Then after approximately 1-2 minutes the body has enough hot air for the sky lantern to rise and float upwards into the sky. The wax fuel cell then continues to fill the lantern with this hot air which is why the lantern does not fall to the ground. It will however slowly float back down after the fuel cell has completely burnt out. This is when the sky lanterns which are also known as Chinese lanterns slowly parachute back down to earth. This causes no danger to the environment or surroundings as the lanterns are not ablaze at this time. The wick is then safe to touch because at this time it is cool.

The materials used in the making of these great objects are very light such are rice paper and light weight bamboo strips, the wick are also very light indeed. If the materials were heavy the lanterns would not be able to fly.

When using sky flying lanterns, flying lanterns people must take care similar to when using fireworks, although these lanterns are much safer. This is because it uses a naked flame. All Chinese lanterns come with instruction manuals and safety guidelines which have to be strictly adhered to. Safety is paramount in the use of them.

Sky lanterns are now so readily available to purchase on the internet. But you must be careful when choosing a supplier or online retailer. This is because many companies now selling these lanterns are using suppliers from China who produce very low quality sky lanterns which are often very dangerous. The Chinese lanterns made in China are mass produced often using materials such as fiberglass or asbestos. We have done our research and found that the best quality lanterns are from Thailand, many of which are handmade from environmentally friendly materials.

So please be careful when choosing where to buy your sky lanterns and when using them. Most of all enjoy them!

Source by Nick Ray