The First Terrestrial Electron Beam Observed by The Atmosphere‐Space Interactions Monitor

D. Sarria, P. Kochkin, N. Østgaard, N. Lehtinen, A. Mezentsev, M. Marisaldi, B.E. Carlson, C. Maiorana, K. Albrechtsen, T. Neubert, V. Reglero, K. Ullaland, S. Yang, G. Genov, B.H. Qureshi, C. Budtz‐Jørgensen, I. Kuvvetli, F. Christiansen, O. Chanrion, M. HeumesserK. Dimitriadou, J. Navarro‐González, P. Connell, C. Eyles

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We report the first Terrestrial Electron Beam detected by the Atmosphere‐Space Interactions Monitor. It happened on 16 September 2018. The Atmosphere‐Space Interactions Monitor Modular X and Gamma ray Sensor recorded a 2 ms long event, with a softer spectrum than typically recorded for Terrestrial Gamma ray Flashes (TGFs). The lightning discharge associated to this event was found in the World Wide Lightning Location Network data, close to the northern footpoint of the magnetic field line that intercepts the International Space Station location. Imaging from a GOES‐R geostationary satellite shows that the source TGF was produced close to an overshooting top of a thunderstorm. Monte‐Carlo simulations were performed to reproduce the observed light curve and energy spectrum. The event can be explained by the secondary electrons and positrons produced by the TGF (i.e., the Terrestrial Electron Beam), even if about 3.5% to 10% of the detected counts may be due to direct TGF photons. A source TGF with a Gaussian angular distribution with standard deviation between 20.6° and 29.8° was found to reproduce the measurement. Assuming an isotropic angular distribution within a cone, compatible half angles are between 30.6° and 41.9°, in agreement with previous studies. The number of required photons for the source TGF could be estimated for various assumption of the source (altitude of production and angular distribution) and is estimated between 1017.2 and 1018.9 photons, that is, compatible with the current consensus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)10497-10511
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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©2019. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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