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Title: Electron Acceleration Mechanisms in Thunderstorms
Author: Sebastien Celestin

Thunderstorms produce strong electric fields over regions on the order of kilometer. The corresponding electric potential differences are on the order of 100 MV. Secondary cosmic rays reaching these regions may be significantly accelerated and even amplified in relativistic runaway avalanche processes. These phenomena lead to enhancements of the high-energy background radiation observed by detectors on the ground and on board aircraft. Moreover, intense submillisecond gamma-ray bursts named terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) produced in thunderstorms are detected from low Earth orbit satellites. When passing through the atmosphere, these gamma-rays are recognized to produce secondary relativistic electrons and positrons rapidly trapped in the geomagnetic field and injected into the near-Earth space environment. In the present work, we attempt to give an overview of the current state of research on high-energy phenomena associated with thunderstorms.

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Scientists tackle mystery of thunderstorms that strike at night

Thunderstorms that form at night, without a spark from the sun's heat, are a mysterious phenomenon. This summer, scientists will be staying up late in search of some answers.
From June 1 through July 15, researchers from across North America will fan out each evening across the Great Plains, where storms are more common at night than during the day.

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Thunderstorm numbers calculated

The Earth sees about 760 thunderstorms every hour, scientists have calculated.
The figure, unveiled at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, is substantially lower than numbers that have been used for nearly a century.

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