Utah Scientists Look To Uncover Mystery Of Lightning

Jun 4, 2018

Data collected from a remote high-desert lab in Utah could help scientists learn more about the origin of lightning.

Instruments for the Telescope Array Lightning Project in Millard County recorded bursts of gamma ray flashes produced in the first milliseconds of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

The showers, called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, were documented 10 times between 2014 and 2016.

The lightning project is the first to detect the downward flashes at the beginning of cloud-to-ground lightning and to show where they originated in thunderstorms.

John Belz, professor of physics at the University of Utah and principal investigator with the project, says scientists may actually learn something about the origin of lightning from the research.