Scientists have confirmed the hypothesis of cosmic occurrence of lightning

Lightning Catatumbo River i>

Scientists working with the project LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray), which is an interferometric array of radio telescopes distributed across Europe, made immediately Two important экспериментальных Confirmation expressed earlier hypotheses. Firstly, it was found that by using radio telescopes can study the storm clouds. Second, apparently lightning do arise as a result of interference in the atmosphere of cosmic rays.

Lightning familiar from childhood almost all the inhabitants of the planet. Powerful electric discharge aligns arisen potential difference between clouds or between clouds and the ground. All properties of lightning have not been studied so far, in particular the specific mechanism is not clear their occurrence. By itself, the potential difference causing the zipper is not strong enough to turn the air from the insulator to the conductor.

Among the hypotheses the most popular is the one , which explains the influence of the ionization of the atmosphere high-energy cosmic radiation . When a particle from space, usually a proton or a heavy nucleus collides with air molecules, it sets off a chain reaction in which millions of electrically charged particles rush to the ground. Due to their interaction with the geomagnetic field of the planet are born waves that capture radio telescopes LOFAR.

The main and the most dense part of the lattice of telescopes distributed on a plot of 6 square kilometers in the Netherlands. During the three years of observation, scientists have found 762 occurrence of high-frequency "rain." As explained by Pim Shellart, radio astronomer who worked on the project, and the leader of the study, in good weather radio go to Earth in orderly rows with the same polarization. When near the storm begins, radio waves begin to behave chaotically.

The monitoring of space objects such interference only interfere. But, deciding to study lightning, scientists included high efficiency electric fields arising in thunderclouds in their computer model. As a result, it was found that coincided with calculations obtained through radio telescopes data. Heino Falke, one of the astronomers working at the LOFAR, previously only dreamed about good weather, now, on the contrary, waiting for a thunderstorm. "As scientists, we are waiting for the moment when the lightning hit right in the middle of LOFAR. But as astronomers, we hope that this will not happen ».

Fans of this fascinating atmospheric phenomenon can be recommended to the river Catatumbo in northern Colombia. In her mouth almost half nights of the year comes a unique natural phenomenon - there for 10 hours at night lightning flashes continuously. This view can be seen for 40 miles from the scene, and because even used to navigate the local courts.



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