A lightning discharge producing a beam of relativistic electrons into space
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Strong electric fields associated with lightning generate brief (∼1 ms) but intense Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs), detected by spacecrafts. A few events are thought to be the signature of a relativistic electron beam escaping the atmosphere, which is distinguishable from a TGF since the lightning discharge is along the geomagnetic field line from the spacecraft, rather than below. We refer to this event herein as a Terrestrial Energetic-electron Flash (TEF), and present the first TEF with associated discharge. The TEF was detected by the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor aboard the Fermi satellite, and is correlated with a lightning discharge detected by three Stanford University AWESOME ELF/VLF receivers, a Duke University ULF receiver, and by the GLD360 lightning geolocation network. The discharge, nearly simultaneous with the generated electrons, was of intense peak current and of positive polarity, and with a modest total charge transfer, similar to TGF-associated discharges. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1029/2010GL044481
Publication InfoBriggs, MS; Cohen, MB; Connaughton, V; Cummer, SA; Fishman, GJ; Inan, US; & Said, RK (2010). A lightning discharge producing a beam of relativistic electrons into space. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(18). pp. L18806. 10.1029/2010GL044481. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4138.
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William H. Younger Professor of Engineering
Dr. Steven Cummer received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1997 and prior to joining Duke University in 1999 he spent two years at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as an NRC postdoctoral research associate. Awards he has received include a National Science Foundation CAREER award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2001. His current work is in a variety of theoretical and experimental electromagnetic problems related to g