Terrestrial lightning are of cosmic origin

15.05.2013

 

Despite the fact that everyone has seen lightning at least once in their lives, few people know where they come from. Moreover, many scholars suggest that the storm cloud has a charge equal to one-tenth of the required for the formation of even the weakest of lightning.

According to Alex Gurevich of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the cause of lightning are cosmic rays. Twenty years ago, he introduced the theory that says that cosmic rays falling on our planet, causing a phenomenon that many used to call lightning. Scientists suggest that cosmic rays after a collision with air molecules in the Earth's atmosphere free electrons. These electrons are then cut into other molecules, resulting in the release of provoking an even greater number of electrons, which leads to a chain reaction, or as it is called Gurevich — runaway breakdown.

On the other hand, some scholars have argued that in order to take this lightning beam having extremely high energy. Cosmic rays are rarely a force into the atmosphere, and if the theory is correct, the lightning should not happen as often as we used to see them. But Gurevich see explanation in that storm clouds pass through so-called hydro-meteorites (water droplets and ice). In such circumstances, even a faint cosmic rays are powerful enough to produce vivid lightning. And these rays often pass through the atmosphere.

In further studies Gurevich and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments at the Research Institute of Radio Physics in Nizhny Novgorod. They compared a large number of radio signals produced about 4,000 lightning strikes in Russia and Kazakhstan. These signals appeared to be very similar in nature to those that can be created by runaway breakdown, caused by cosmic rays.

If the findings of scientists are correct, then the theory will answer many questions of modern science. Nevertheless, in order to obtain more accurate results, additional studies are required. For example, to simultaneously measure the energy flow caused by cosmic rays, and radio-frequency pulses with zippers.

 


S. Vasilenko

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