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No. 53: Sep-Oct 1987

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Lightning Triggered From The Magnetosphere

Whistlers are, as their name implies, curious whistling noises heard on radio receivers. They are caused naturally by lightning, which sends radio noise travelling through natural "ducts" in the earth's magnetosphere. It has recently been discovered that some of the whistlers are synchronized in a way that strongly suggests that some event high up in the magnetosphere triggers some lightning discharges far below near the surface. In other words, lightning is not always a product of activity in the lower atmosphere.

(Armstrong, W.C.; "Lightning Triggered from the Earth's Magnetosphere as the Source of Synchronized Whistlers," Nature, 327:405, 1987.)

Comment. Ball lightning has been correlated with solar activity and other extraterrestrial influences. See GLB17 in our Catalog Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights. This book is described here.

From Science Frontiers #53, SEP-OCT 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987