Latest Terrestrial gamma-ray flash Stories

2010-07-15 10:00:00

There are many cultural myths concerning black holes -- several of the myths are perpetuated by television and movies. Black holes have been portrayed as time-traveling tunnels to another dimension, or as cosmic vacuum cleaners sucking up everything in sight. Black holes are really just the evolutionary end points of massive stars. Somehow, this simple explanation makes them no easier to understand. On Thursday, July 15, NASA scientist Jerry Fishman from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center...

2010-06-10 09:46:38

A team of Spanish researchers has made a high-speed recording of elves and sprites in storms, fleeting and luminous electric phenomena produced in the upper layers of the atmosphere. Their analysis of these observations has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. "This is the first time in Europe that we have been able to use high-speed video to detect transitory luminous phenomena taking place in the upper atmosphere "“ so-called sprites (in the form of a carrot or...

2010-02-11 07:20:00

Instruments scanning outer space for cataclysmic explosions called gamma-ray bursts are detecting intense flashes of gamma-ray energy right here in the friendly skies of Earth. These terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs, blast through thunderstorms close to the altitude where commercial airliners fly. In fact, they could be too close for comfort. In a recent study,* scientists estimated that airline passengers could be exposed to 400 chest X-rays worth of radiation by being near the origin...

2010-01-30 07:30:00

High-energy bursts of gamma rays typically occur far out in space, perhaps near black holes or other high-energy cosmic phenomena. So imagine scientists' surprise in the mid-1990s when they found these powerful gamma ray flashes happening right here on Earth, in the skies overhead. They're called Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes, or TGFs, and very little is known about them. They seem to have a connection with lightning, but TGFs themselves are something entirely different. "In fact," says Doug...

2009-12-07 15:51:44

Scientists say incidents are likely rare and more research is needed New information about lightning-emitted X-rays, gamma rays and high-energy electrons during thunderstorms is prompting scientists to raise concerns about the potential for airline passengers and crews to be exposed to harmful levels of radiation. Scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology, University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Florida have estimated that airplane passengers could be exposed to a...

2008-11-17 12:32:21

Massive energy releases occur every day in the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere. Lightning may give rise to these bursts of radiation. However, unlike the well-known flashes of light and peals of thunder familiar to Earth-dwellers, these energy releases are channeled upward and can be detected only from space. Our atmosphere protects us from the effects of this radiation, but the mechanisms at work can impact Earth's upper atmosphere and its space environment. A new nano satellite mission,...

2005-06-07 12:35:00

NASA -- Giant red blobs, picket fences, upward branching carrots, and tentacled octopi -- these are just a few of the phrases used to describe sprites -- spectacular, eerie flashes of colored light high above the tops of powerful thunderstorms that can travel up to 50 miles high in the atmosphere. Sprites, so-named by a University of Alaska scientist inspired by the creatures in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," have been observed since the 1800s, though rarely visible from the ground. Aircraft...

2005-02-18 06:35:00

NASA -- A great mystery was set in motion a few years ago when a spacecraft designed to measure gamma-ray bursts -- the most powerful explosions in the Universe -- found that Earth was actually emitting some flashes of its own. Named Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs), these very short blasts of gamma rays lasting about one millisecond, are emitted into space from Earth's upper atmosphere. Scientists believe electrons traveling at nearly the speed of light scatter off of atoms and...

Word of the Day
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).