scientists have discovered some surprising structures in thunderstorm lightning. You are part of the reason why storm clouds lightning several times in a row, according to the international Team with German participation.

the measurement instrument was a large radio telescope made up of many interconnected antennas.

The discovered structures in the Flashes, according to researchers details of the so-called needles, which store charge, and hence the clouds to recharge. Thus, storm clouds could be discharged after a short time, a second Time. “Therefore, it comes from a cloud to repeated lightning strikes to the ground, and Storms not only provide a flash, but a lot of spectacular, but also hazardous discharges,” said first author Brian Hare from the Dutch University of Groningen. The needles, according to the researchers, around 100 meters long and have a diameter of less than five meters.

“So accurate measurements of a single flash, there’s never been,” said Co-author Anna Nelles from the Hamburg research centre Desy and the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen, the German press Agency. The Team used the European radio telescope Lofar (Low Frequency Array), which consists of several Thousand antennas. They are distributed on different stations in several countries, and thus form a giant virtual telescope for waves in the radio frequency range. The scientists present their conclusions in the magazine “Nature”.

so Far, the experts had assumed that charge of Lightning flowing along the plasma channels from one cloud to another. Now, however, it is established according to the researchers, that residual charge is stored instead in the detected needle-shaped structures of lightning and virtually in the cloud pumped back.

The new findings of the researchers could save in the long run, even human life, said Co-author Nelles. “Flashes are ever-present, but not yet fully understood. At best it would be Yes, if you could say strikes in advance, so as to protect people. But for this we first need a good understanding. Our measurement contributes.”

lightning occurs when inner turmoil charge of different parts of large Cumulonimbus clouds to each other electrically. If the voltage difference between the negative and positive clouds will share to large discharges, the cloud suddenly. This discharge is seen on earth as lightning.

Actually, the radio telescope Lofar will be used primarily for astronomical observations. These Aerial merger were used by the researchers for the first time, for the measurement of Lightning and were able to look Inside the storm clouds, lightning, measuring, and imaging techniques, even in three dimensions.

dpa