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Thunderstorm with eye-popping 720GJ of energy

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/03/thunderstorm-with-eye-popping-720gj-of-energy/
See More From: arstechnica.com   ( Science & Technology )

Mar 19, 2019 6:30 AM 4+ week ago

Thunderstorm with eye-popping 720GJ of energy

Nothing says "I love diving headfirst into a ditch" like your hair suddenly elevating to the tingly feel of electricity. Thunderstorms are amazing from inside a building, but they're scary if you're trapped outside. And, despite a good deal of observation, an element of mystery surrounds them. For instance, we know that lightning can produce free neutrons, antimatter, and gamma rays, but we don't have much idea of how that happens.

That has partially changed thanks to an Indian muon telescope, called GRAPES-3--a classic example of a backronym. GRAPES-3 is designed to detect muons (a heavier cousin to the electron and positron) that are generated as gamma rays hit the Earth's atmosphere. It is a relatively simple detector that has the benefit of covering a reasonable chunk of sky with good angular resolution. The detectors are also buried under ...

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