'Gigantic Jet' lightning is one of the stories buzzing the Internet Wednesday.
What’s 'gigantic jet' lighting? It is a mysterious burst of lightning that connects a thunderstorm with the upper atmosphere. It was recently described by scientists, Yahoo! News reported Wednesday. The lightning happened in southern China on August 12, 2010. It was the farthest a ground-based one has been seen so far from the equator.
Previous lightning jets were seen mostly in tropical areas. The one spotted in China took place on the 35 latitude line, about the same latitude as Tennessee.
Researchers were able to observe the lightning storm with Doppler radar and weather pictures. The gigantic jet peaked about 55 miles above the ground.
The first confirmed 'gigantic jet' lightning was reported in 2001. In that case, American researchers saw a blue jet that reached 44 miles above the clouds in Puerto Rico.
Two years after that, researchers described the phenomena as “tree jets” and “carrot jets.”
Yahoo! News reports, “While scientists are still trying to understand how these gigantic jets work, they believe the jets balance out the electrical charge during thunderstorms by discharging the ionosphere — a part of the upper atmosphere filled with charged particles.”
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