'Gigantic Jet' Lightning Spotted Over China - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Gigantic Jet' Lightning Spotted Over China

YAHOO.COM - A rare glimpse of a "gigantic jet" — a huge and mysterious burst of lightning that connects a thunderstorm with the upper atmosphere — was made over China in 2010 and was recently described by scientists.

The gigantic jet took place in eastern China on Aug. 12, 2010 — the farthest a ground-based one has ever been observed from the equator, according to the research team.

Previous jets were mainly seen in tropical or subtropical regions, but this one took place around 35 degrees latitude, about the same as the southern part of Tennessee in the United States.

"This is the first report from mainland China," lead researcher Jing Yang, an atmospheric scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, told OurAmazingPlanet. The results were recently published in the Chinese Science Bulletin.

Researchers got a good look at the storm using a variety of tools, including Doppler radar data and weather pictures in the infrared band of radiation.

The gigantic jet peaked at about 55 miles (89 kilometers) above the ground, far above the cloudtops that were measured with Doppler radar at an altitude of 11 miles (17 km). [Infographic: Earth's Atmosphere Top to Bottom]

Yang added that her team had possibly seen another gigantic jet in the same area during a different thunderstorm, but said they needed to recheck the data to confirm.

"It's not as clear as this one if it is a gigantic jet or not," she said.

It wasn't until the last century that electrical activity above thunderclouds was scientifically proven, although rumors based on undocumented observations circulated long before that time.

These electrical discharges can take several forms, such as sprites (orange-red flashes) and blue jets, which appear as blue cones.

The first confirmed gigantic jet was reported in 2001, after American researchers saw a blue jet reaching 44 miles (70 km) above the clouds at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. This was nearly double the 26-mile (42 km) limit for jets that was previously observed.

Two years later, researchers described shapes such as "tree jets" and "carrot jets" that they spotted during a 2002 thunderstorm over the South China Sea near the Philippines.

While scientists are still trying to understand how these gigantic jets work, they believe the jets balance out the electrical charge during thunderstorms by discharging the ionosphere — a part of the upper atmosphere filled with charged particles.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:41:55 GMT

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>
  • Pierce County woman wakes up to stranger in her house rubbing her face

    Pierce County woman wakes up to stranger in her house rubbing her face

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:11 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:11:05 GMT

    PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County woman was terrified over the weekend when she woke up to a stranger in her house rubbing her face. She ran to her neighbor's house and the neighbor contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Arriving deputies spoke with the neighbor who called 911. 

    >>

    PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County woman was terrified over the weekend when she woke up to a stranger in her house rubbing her face. She ran to her neighbor's house and the neighbor contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Arriving deputies spoke with the neighbor who called 911. 

    >>
  • Urgent care clinic closes in north Spokane

    Urgent care clinic closes in north Spokane

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 3:52 PM EDT2018-04-24 19:52:10 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - An urgent care clinic in north Spokane has closed. The MultiCare Rockwood Urgent Care Center located at 9001 N. Country Homes Blvd. closed its doors on April 17. Patients looking for immediate services are being asked to use one of the other clinics listed here. According to a spokesperson with MultiCare, the lease for the building expires on April 30. MultiCare did not renew the lease. While the Urgent Care is closed, 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - An urgent care clinic in north Spokane has closed. The MultiCare Rockwood Urgent Care Center located at 9001 N. Country Homes Blvd. closed its doors on April 17. Patients looking for immediate services are being asked to use one of the other clinics listed here. According to a spokesperson with MultiCare, the lease for the building expires on April 30. MultiCare did not renew the lease. While the Urgent Care is closed, 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Monday, April 23rd

    Mad Minute stories from Monday, April 23rd

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 2:04 AM EDT2018-04-24 06:04:34 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, April 23rd.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, April 23rd.

    >>
  • 1 student wounded in shooting at Florida high school

    1 student wounded in shooting at Florida high school

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:40 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:40:23 GMT
    Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via APDoug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via AP
    Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via APDoug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via AP

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A gunman carrying a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire at a Florida high school, wounding one student as other students and teachers piled desks and cabinets against classroom doors to make barricades. The 19-year-old suspect was later arrested and apologized as he was led away in handcuffs. Friday's shooting at Forest High School in Ocala happened on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence. A 17-year-old boy was taken ...

    >>

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A gunman carrying a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire at a Florida high school, wounding one student as other students and teachers piled desks and cabinets against classroom doors to make barricades. The 19-year-old suspect was later arrested and apologized as he was led away in handcuffs. Friday's shooting at Forest High School in Ocala happened on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence. A 17-year-old boy was taken ...

    >>
  • CDC expands E. coli warning to all romaine lettuce

    CDC expands E. coli warning to all romaine lettuce

    Friday, April 20 2018 8:34 PM EDT2018-04-21 00:34:09 GMT
    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its warning about an E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce to cover all forms of romaine, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona, growing area. A previous warning was limited to chopped forms of romaine, including salads and salad mixes. The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be c...>>
    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its warning about an E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce to cover all forms of romaine, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona, growing area. A previous warning was limited to chopped forms of romaine, including salads and salad mixes. The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be c...>>