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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes

Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) were first reported using data from the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) onboard NASA's Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) in 1994.

The short duration (0.2 to 3.5 milliseconds) atmospheric bursts were initially thought to be caused by relativistic runaway electron avalanches acting on natural background radiation, or extensive cosmic-ray air showers - these theories are now discounted.

Current theories include relativistic feedback or runaway electron production in the strong electric fields associated with lightning leaders or streamers, similar to the energetic radiation observed on the ground from lightning.

See :Journal of Physical Research 2008


Also see :Lightningplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigLightning

High powered lightning discharges are happening somewhere on Earth 100 times every second - as yet there are no agreed explanations as to how or why.

"“One mystery is how thunderclouds become so highly charged. The best explanation is that collisions betwee…


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