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Small satellite takes on large thunderstorms
Date:11/17/2008

re. But how this might lead to the generation of these extremely energetic electrons is not well understood.

"This mission could provide the first direct evidence for the relationship between lightning and TGFs, and addresses an important research question in atmospheric electricity," said Anne-Marie Schmoltner, head of NSF's Atmospheric Sciences Division's Lower Atmosphere Research Section. "Identifying the source of terrestrial gamma ray flashes would be a great step toward fully understanding the physics behind lightning and its effect on the Earth's atmosphere." To accomplish these goals, Firefly will carry a gamma-ray detector along with a suite of instruments to detect lightning.

Students will be involved in all aspects of the project, from design and development, through fabrication and test, to mission operations and data analysis.


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Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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