Fermi detects beams of antimatter produced above thunderstorms on Earth


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More from the AAS meeting: The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope has detected beams of antimatter produced above Earth’s thunderstorms. Key quote:

Scientists think the antimatter particles were formed in a terrestrial gamma-ray flash, a brief burst produced inside thunderstorms and shown to be associated with lightning. It is estimated that about 500 such flashes occur daily worldwide, but most go undetected. . . . The spacecraft was located immediately above a thunderstorm for most of the observed terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. But, in four cases, storms were far from Fermi. In addition, lightning-generated radio signals detected by a global monitoring network indicated the only lightning at the time was hundreds or more miles away. During one flash, which occurred on Dec. 14, 2009, Fermi was located over Egypt. But the active storm was in Zambia, some 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) to the south.

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