A group of scientists seek to discover more about terrestrial gamma ray flashes

By @vitthernandez on
A hot air balloon floats past a distant thunderstorm
A hot air balloon floats past a distant thunderstorm after sunset near San Diego, California, August 15, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT) Reuters

Terrestrial gamma ray flashes or gamma rays produced by thunderstorms in the Earth’s atmosphere have been subjected to numerous researches and studies in the past. However, many scientists believe that what has been discovered about it is not enough for humans to fully understand their essence.

That’s why the researchers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) decided to conduct a space exploration in 2018 to come up with new data that could enhance human’s understanding of these mysterious thunderstorm flashes. 

“One thing we’d like to know is, how a thunderstorm manages to accelerate these particles to extreme energies in order to create the gamma rays?” said Dr Michael Briggs, assistant director of UAH's Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, or CSPAR.

The exploration, dubbed as Terrestrial RaYs Analysis and Detection (TRYAD) mission, plans to launch two 10 x 10 x 30-centimetre, class 3U cube satellites above Earth, which will go around the planet in the outer atmosphere. These satellites will serve as secondary payload on a large rocket into a 40-degree inclination orbit 400-500 kilometres.

The main goal is to have these satellites spend more time revolving over the tropical areas where thunderstorms usually occur. Upon obtaining the needed information, the satellites will then fly above North America to transmit data.

“Using orbital drag mechanisms, the satellites will separate by several hundred kilometers. Using a 5 percent lead-doped plastic scintillator, the satellites will emit blue to ultraviolet light from the TGF gamma rays that strike the scintillator. A silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) detector will pick up the light and record the data,” explained Jim Steele of UAH News.

One of the possible results of the mission is the detection of electrical fields in thunderstorms, which remains difficult to measure today even with the most advanced technology available.

The detection of something almost-universally considered as nonexistent or difficult to prove is what also convinced Dr Ruggero Santilli to start his work on proving antimatters’ existence. Antimatter particles, the negative counterpart of regular matters, have long been considered impossible to determine by the modern science. When matter and antimatter come in contact with each other, annihilation occurs, transforming their mass to high-energy gamma rays.

The Santilli Telescope , the latest product from coal and fossil fuel combustion technology innovator Thunder Energies Corporation (OTCQB: TNRG ) , has been earning massive attention from the science world since its launch in July, as t his is the first time in history that antimatter can now be detected with the naked eye.

“The Santilli Telescope will pull back the curtain of the heavens, thus enabling amateur astronomers to photograph for the first time visual evidences of antimatter galaxies. Discovery has always been a motivating factor in amateur astronomy, and with the Santilli Telescope, discovery can happen,” Dr Santilli said in a statement.

Currently, the world of science and astronomy is no longer dominated by professionals. One of the best things happening in the segment today is that even amateur scientists and private firms are discovering new technologies and innovations essential in the enhancement of the segment as an industry.

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