06-12-2017 06:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
A rare and tallest kind of lightning spotted
Gigantic Jets are a rare form of lightning that is 300 times stronger than normal lightning. For the first time, such a form of lightning was reported over the Indian subcontinent in a study by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology(IITM) and some other national and international institutes.
Gigantic Jets were first reported to be seen over the Caribbean Ocean. Now, cloud camera was able to capture this brilliant lightning over the Indo-Gangetic Plain for the first time.
IITM scientist Devendraa Singh, one of the researchers in the study said, “Gigantic Jets are electric discharges from thunderstorm cloud tops occurring in the atmosphere, about 20-80km from the earth's surface. Since their first report in 2002, sporadic observations have been reported from the ground- and space-based observations, but never from the Indian subcontinent until our report."
He added that two storms each produced two jets with unique characteristics that have not yet been documented. One jet had an unusual form observed for the first time, which emerged from the edge of a slowly-drifting convective cloud at a nearly 17km altitude.
Singh informed that these Gigantic Jets formed faster than usual, at an altitude up to 37km in the atmosphere in less than five micro-seconds, and they appeared also to be extinguished quickly — within 40 to 80 microseconds.
Astronomers have always been intrigued by Gigantic Jets. Being invisible to the naked eye, capturing them on camera is a unique find in the world of science.