A terrestrial gamma-ray flash and ionospheric ultraviolet emissions powered by lightning

Torsten Neubert*, Nikolai Østgaard, Victor Reglero, Olivier Chanrion, Matthias Heumesser, Krystallia Dimitriadou, Freddy Christiansen, Carl Budtz-Jørgensen, Irfan Kuvvetli, Ib Lundgaard Rasmussen, Andrey Mezentsev, Martino Marisaldi, Kjetil Ullaland, Georgi Genov, Shiming Yang, Pavlo Kochkin, Javier Navarro-Gonzalez, Paul H. Connell, Chris J. Eyles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are transient gamma-ray emissions from thunderstorms, generated by electrons accelerated to relativistic energies in electric fields. Elves are ultraviolet and optical emissions excited in the lower ionosphere by electromagnetic waves radiated from lightning current pulses. We observe a TGF and an associated Elve using the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor on the International Space Station. The TGF occurs at the onset of a lightning current pulse that generates an Elve, in the early stage of a lightning flash. Our measurements suggest that the current onset is fast and has a high amplitude, a prerequisite for Elves, and that the TGF is generated in the electric fields associated with the lightning leader.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-186
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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