They identify a gigantic burst of lightning that rose 80 km into space

Observing a thunderstorm can be quite a sight from Earth: hear the noise of thunder and see the brightness of lightning. But scientists have shown that the best is found above the powerful clouds, where they can produce huge bursts of lightning that reach into space.

The team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, in the United States, carried out a detailed 3D study and managed to detect a massive electrical discharge that rose about 80 kilometers into space, international media report.

This gigantic jet moved approximately 300 coulombs of electrical charge into the ionosphere (the lower edge of space). Compared to typical lightning, this is gigantic, carrying between five coulombs.

The study’s principal investigator, Levi Boggs, explained that they were able to “see very high frequency (VHF) sources above the top of the cloud, which had not been seen before with this level of detail. Using satellite and radar data, we were able to tell where the very hot leading part of the discharge was: it was located above the cloud.”


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