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
Publication Language: Ukrainian
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
1.  Sedunov Yu. S., Avdiushin S. I., Borisenkov E. P., et al. (Eds.) Atmosphere Handbook, 509 p.  (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1991) [in Russian].
2. Glushneva I. N. Spectrophotometry bright stars, 256 p. (Nauka, Moscow, 1982) [in Russian].
3. Gurevich A.V., Zybin K.P. Runaway breakdown and electric discharges in thunderstorms, Uspehi fiz. nauk, 171 (11), 1177—1199 (2001) [in Russian].
4. Ermakov V.I., Stozhkov Y.I. The role of cosmic rays in the formation of lightning, Kratkie soobshchenia po fizike of P.N.Lebedev Physics Institute of the RAS, N 9, 43—50 (2003) [in Russian].
5. Ermakov V.I., Stozhkov Y.I. Physics of storm clouds, P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute RAS, Preprint No.2, 39 p. (Moscow, 2004) [in Russian].
6. Krasnogorskaja N. V. Electricity of lower atmosphere and methods of measurement, 323 p. (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1972) [in Russian].
7. Mareev E.A., Trakhtengerts V.Yu. Puzzles of Atmospheric Electricity, Priroda, N 3, 24—33. (2007) [in Russian].
8. Murzin V. S. Introduction to the physics of cosmic rays, 319 p. (MGU, Moscow, 1988) [in Russian].
9. Rajzer Yu. P. Physics of gas discharge, 591 p. (Nauka, Moscow, 1987) [in Russian].
10. Reist P.C. Introduction to Aerosol Science, 280 p. (Mir, Moscow, 1987) [in Russian].
11. Rusanov A. I. Thermodynamics of nucleation centers on the charge, Dokl. AN SSSR, 238 (4), 831—834 (1978) [in Russian].
12. Shuyenko O. V., Kozak L. V., Ivchenko V. M. Transient luminous events during thunderstorms and the simulation of electric fields in the lower atmosphere, Kosm. nauka tehnol., 16 (2), 23—34 (2010) [in Ukrainian].
13. Chelmers Dzh.A. Atmospheric electricity, 421 p.  (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1974) [in Russian].
14. Uman M.A. Lightning, 327 p. (Mir, Moscow, 1972) [in Russian].
15. Bazelyan E. M., Raizer Yu. P. Lightning Physics and Lightning Protection, 320 p. (Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol and Phyladelphia, 2000)
16. Boccippio D. J., Koshak W. J., Christian H. J., Goodmen S. J. Land-ocean differences in LIS and OTD tropical lightning observations,  Proceedings of 11th ICAE, USA, Alabama, P. 734—737 (1999).
17. Christian H. J. Optical detection of lightning from space,  Proceedings of 11th ICAE, USA, Alabama, P. 715—718 (1999).
18. Christian H. J., Blakeslee R. J., Bossippio D. J., et al. Global frequency and distribution of lightning as observed by the optical transient detector (OTD), Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, USA, Alabama, P. 726—729 (1999).
19. Cooray V., Rahman M., Rakov V. On the NOx production by laboratory electrical discharges and lightning,  J. Atmos. and Solar-Terr. Phys., 71 (17-18) 1877—1889 (2009),
20. Dwyer J. R., Rassoul H. K., Al-Dayeh M., et al. Measurements of x-ray emission from rocket-triggered lightning, Geophys. Res. Lett.,  31, P. L05118 (2004),
21. Dwyer J. R., Rassoul H. K., Al-Dayeh M., et al. A ground level gamma-ray burst observed in association with rocket-triggered lightning,  Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, P. L05119 (2004),
22. Franz R. C., Nemsek R. J., Winkler J. R. Television image of a large upward electrical discharge above a thunderstorm system, Science, 249 (4964), 48—51 (1990),
23. Füllekrug M., Mareev E. A., Rycroft M. J. Sprites, Elves and Intense Lightning Discharges, II Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 225, 432 p. (2006)
24. Rakov V. A., Uman M. A., Rambo K. J. A review of ten years of triggered-lightning experiments at Camp Blanding, Florida, Atmosphere Res., 76 (1−4), 504—518 (2005).
25. Reiter R. Phenomena in atmospheric and environmental electricity, 541 p. (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1992)
26. Uman M. A. The Art and Science of Lightning Protection, 239 p. (Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2008)
27. Ushio T. U., Heckman S., Boccippio D., et al. Initial comparison of the lightning imaging sensor (LIS) with lightning detection and ranging (LDAR), Proceedings of 11th ICAE.  Alabama, USA, P. 738—741 (1999).