Estimation of atmosphere glow energy over storm discharges

1Kozak, LV, 1Ivchenko, VM, 2Odzymek, A, Klokov, IS, 3Kozak, PM, 1Lapchuk, VP
1Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
2University of Leicester , UK
3Astronomical Observatory of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Kosm. nauka tehnol. 2012, 18 ;(2):33–42
https://doi.org/10.15407/knit2012.02.033
Publication Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: 
An analysis of conditions for the appearance of storm discharges is performed and the sky glow energy over them is estimated. It is found that riser flows and “inoculating” ions which are caused by both cosmic rays and the Earth’s ground radioactivity play a decisive role in a storm formation. In this case large atmosphere avalanches initiate electric discharges in storm clouds. In the framework of combined Ukrainian-British investigations, observations of storm activity on Koshka mountain from 12 till 19 August 2009 were carried out. As the result of the observations, 56 videos with storm discharges over the Black Sea were obtained. The complex of observational hardware included video camera Watec 902H, a frame-grabber, a GPS-receiver and a notebook with the according software. To estimate the atmosphere glow energy caused by storm discharges for the optical wavelength region, a calibrating curve is plotted on the basis of different unfocused images of Vega. During this procedure, the spectral type of the star, atmosphere absorption and spectral sensitivity of the camera are taken into account. To analyse some atmosphere glow features over storm discharges, isophotes of the images are plotted. It is found from the analysis of our observations that the discharge duration was from 0.5 to 1.2 sec, the discharge power was (1.4—2.4)⋅106 watt and the altitude of appearance was equal from 5.2 to 7 km. Besides, the simulation of quasi-electrostatic field for the system of storm discharges is performed using the Wilson model. It is found that in the lower atmosphere the distance of decay of the electric field generated by a storm cloud is near 10 km. The energy of a system consisting of five storm clouds is estimated. We can note a good correlation between the observational data and numerical estimations
Keywords: sky glow energy, storm discharges, storm formation, Wilson model
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