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Gamma-rays from Thunder storms

KMI Topics
2018-07-11 17:30
Kazuhiro Nakazawa
KMI Science Symposia (ES635)

Electron acceleration by static electric field within the dense atmosphere has been considered to be diffucult. From late 1990s, it became clear that lightning and thunderclouds are generating gamma-ray photons up to ~30 MeV, and considered to be originating from electron acceleration within thuderclouds. However, the detail of the electron acceleration process is not yet clear. Utilizing the gamma-ray detector technology for high-energy astrophysics, we have been observing this phenomena from 2006 in Japan. On February 2017, we detected a flash of gamma-rays associated with 2ndary neutrons and radio-active sources, which is the first clear evidence for photo-nuclear reactions taking place. On going observational approaches to this phenomena will be presented.