Skip to comments.A space station view on giant lightning (May play role in global warming!)
Posted on 10/04/2005 6:56:49 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger
Do giant flashes of lightning striking upwards from thunder clouds merely pose an extraordinarily spectacular view? Or do they actually alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere, playing a role in ozone depletion and the climate on Earth? This is the key question that may be answered by specially designed cameras, which ESA proposes to place on board the International Space Station.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the ideal setting for studies of spectacular natural phenomena well hidden from us on Earth - so-called red sprites, blue jets and elves: vast flashes of lightning striking not from clouds to the ground, but from clouds towards space.
Normally the word lightning makes us think of sharp zigzag lines striking from the clouds to the ground. Above the clouds however a quite different type of lightning can be seen. There lightning is colourful - mainly red and blue - and covers large areas of the upper atmosphere. Sometimes it can even reach the border between the atmosphere and space.
Over the last few years scientists from the Danish National Space Centre have studied these flashes with cameras placed on mountain tops. Every so often the cameras would catch a flash of lightning striking up from a thunder cloud at a lower altitude.
Placing cameras and other instruments on the Space Station would, however, dramatically improve the chances of seeing the giant flashes and study their effect on the atmosphere. The Danish National Space Centre is currently studying a package of instruments for just that purpose, known as the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM). ESA has now selected ASIM for a feasibility study (known as Phase A).
"The question is how are these giant flashes of lightning created and how often do they take place", says senior scientist Torben Neubert, head of the project at Danish National Space Centre.
It may well be that the large electrical bursts remove ozone from the atmosphere, and in so doing influence the climate. "We need to understand the natural processes which influence the atmosphere and this can help us decide which changes in the climate are man-made", Torben Neubert states.
It is still too early to say when the cameras will actually enter into service in space.
There are way too many factors in play for us to decree that humans are causing global warming. Come off the doctrine of fear, environmentalists.
FASCTINATING images of the lightning located here, with hi-rez download available! Almost as if it were designed or something!
"We need to understand the natural processes which influence the atmosphere and this can help us decide which changes in the climate are man-made", Torben Neubert states
Keep selling the same unproven argument.
And the enviros will say global warming causes giant lightning.
Wanna know the real reason for it all? It's just natural!
Ben Franklin started it. Him and his damn kite.
Freeper Troll ZOTTING Causes Global Warming?.............
Let's just call it "Bush Lightning".
I'm wondering...why the space station, instead of satellites?
I'm confused too! I thought lightening created ozone????
Perfect Rovian Storms cause global warming.
And ZOTTING does too.
Hmm... electric discharge would make ozone, not destroy it. That's how we earthlings make it when needed.
They are created by the sorcery of the EEEEEEEVIL Karl Rove, of course.
Thanks for the website. I love photos of lightning. They're fascinating and beautiful!
"Almost as if it were designed or something!"
Ah, Zeus worship! Or is it Thor?
Interesting assumtion, Adam! Very revealing! :-) And lay off of PatrickHenry...he gets pinged to so many things, he can't possibly keep up with them all.
I didn't ZOT anybody! My beeber is on stune..............
Space lightning ping
Lightning has occurred on Earth as long as there has been an Earth.
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