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Giant electric beam up to 80 kilometers

Giant electric beam up to 80 kilometers

Such a “giant plane” launched itself above the clouds in Oklahoma in 2018.

© INTERNATIONAL GEMINI OBSERVATORY / NOIRLAB / NSF / AURA / A. SMITH / CC BY 4.0 / VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

physicists Georgia Technical Research Institute (GTRI) On the trail of a special climatic phenomenon – the so-called “Giant Planes”. They form during a thunderstorm over cloud cover and can extend from the stratosphere to the ionosphere. Therefore, it is very difficult to observe it from the ground.

Radiation as a target of investigation

Using such a beam, the 2018 in the United States Oklahoma from the clouds 80 km Scientists were able to study this phenomenon more closely. Your search results published them in the magazine “Advance of Science”. “We were able to image this giant plane in 3 dimensions with really high quality data,” says the physicist and engineer. Levi Boggs From the Georgia Institute of Technology Research in Opinion.

The aircraft was randomly registered by multiple instruments in 2018. This Data abundance Boggs and his colleagues made it possible to make an in-depth analysis and dig deeper into the nature of lightning.

“Blue and giant jets” last only a few seconds and can reach the ionosphere.

new insights

According to the research team, the package has moved 300 colums of electric charge. Typical cloud-to-cloud lightning or cloud-to-ground lightning carries only about 5 coulombs. “Using satellite and radar data, we were also able to work out where the main, super-hot portion of the discharge above the cloud is,” Boggs explains. More than 4700°C It was hot. On the other hand, the smaller jets were cooler, at about 200°C.

The researchers also found that the optical component of the beam remained very close to cloud cover. It was just enough 15 to 20 kilometers above. However, VHF waves were detected and reached much higher.

Lots of mystery

“VHF and optical signals have definitively confirmed what the researchers suspected but not yet proven, namely that VHF signals are emitted by lightning from small structures called streamers that form at the top of developing lightning,” Ingenieur explains. Steve Comer from Duke University.

However, many questions remain unanswered. Moreover, it is not clear why the giant jets are shooting upwards while most lightning bolts are directed downwards or to the side. Researchers suspect that something is lightning prevent himTo move down or to other clouds.

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