St Elmo's Fire.-Luminous discharges from masts, lightning conductors, and other pointed objects are not very infrequent, especially during thunderstorms. On the Sonnblick, where the phenomenon is common, Elster and Geitel (87) have found St Elmo's fire to answer to a discharge sometimes of positive sometimes of negative electricity.
ST Elmo'S Fire, the glow accompanying the 'slow discharge of electricity to earth from the atmosphere.
St Elmo's fire is most frequently observed at low levels through the winter season during and after snowstorms.
He has ever been the patron saint of Mediterranean sailors, who regard St Elmo's fire as the visible sign of his guardianship. The phenomenon was known to the ancient Greeks, and Pliny in his Natural History states that when there were two lights sailors called them Castor and Pollux and invoked them as gods.
To English sailors St Elmo's fires were known as " corposants " (Ital.
The church of the Certosa (Carthusian monastery) of San Martino, on the hill below St Elmo's castle, has now become in name, as so many of the churches are in reality, a museum.