'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>>

  • Utah man killed his wife on cruise because she wouldn't stop laughing at him

    Utah man killed his wife on cruise because she wouldn't stop laughing at him

    Thursday, July 27 2017 7:44 PM EDT2017-07-27 23:44:32 GMT

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Authorities say a Utah man killed his wife aboard a cruise ship and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him. A criminal complaint by an FBI special agent says Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Emerald Princess on Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin.

    >>

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Authorities say a Utah man killed his wife aboard a cruise ship and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him. A criminal complaint by an FBI special agent says Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Emerald Princess on Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin.

    >>
  • Bullets from drive-by shooting fly into baby's bedroom

    Bullets from drive-by shooting fly into baby's bedroom

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:22 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:22:06 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A drive-by shooting leaves a Spokane family shaken and terrified. The bullets actually flew into their baby boy’s bedroom. Thankfully, he was sleeping in a different room. This happened near Lacrosse and Nevada shortly after midnight Thursday. Alexis Pipkin is understandably upset. “At this point we don't know who it was so it's kind of scary just having to be here,” she says. She was out on her porch 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A drive-by shooting leaves a Spokane family shaken and terrified. The bullets actually flew into their baby boy’s bedroom. Thankfully, he was sleeping in a different room. This happened near Lacrosse and Nevada shortly after midnight Thursday. Alexis Pipkin is understandably upset. “At this point we don't know who it was so it's kind of scary just having to be here,” she says. She was out on her porch 

    >>
  • 3-year-old twins die in Long Island pool accident

    3-year-old twins die in Long Island pool accident

    Thursday, July 27 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-07-28 00:40:59 GMT

    MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 3-year-old twin brothers have died after they were pulled from a backyard swimming pool on Long Island.      Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer says the mother, who had just awakened, looked out the window and saw one of the boys floating in the pool Wednesday morning. She ran outside and administered CPR while calling 911 on a speaker phone at about 8:40 a.m.

    >>

    MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 3-year-old twin brothers have died after they were pulled from a backyard swimming pool on Long Island.      Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer says the mother, who had just awakened, looked out the window and saw one of the boys floating in the pool Wednesday morning. She ran outside and administered CPR while calling 911 on a speaker phone at about 8:40 a.m.

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

  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th

    Thursday, July 27 2017 5:31 PM EDT2017-07-27 21:31:26 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th.

    >>
  • 3-year-old twins die in Long Island pool accident

    3-year-old twins die in Long Island pool accident

    Thursday, July 27 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-07-28 00:40:59 GMT

    MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 3-year-old twin brothers have died after they were pulled from a backyard swimming pool on Long Island.      Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer says the mother, who had just awakened, looked out the window and saw one of the boys floating in the pool Wednesday morning. She ran outside and administered CPR while calling 911 on a speaker phone at about 8:40 a.m.

    >>

    MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 3-year-old twin brothers have died after they were pulled from a backyard swimming pool on Long Island.      Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer says the mother, who had just awakened, looked out the window and saw one of the boys floating in the pool Wednesday morning. She ran outside and administered CPR while calling 911 on a speaker phone at about 8:40 a.m.

    >>
  • Utah man killed his wife on cruise because she wouldn't stop laughing at him

    Utah man killed his wife on cruise because she wouldn't stop laughing at him

    Thursday, July 27 2017 7:44 PM EDT2017-07-27 23:44:32 GMT

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Authorities say a Utah man killed his wife aboard a cruise ship and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him. A criminal complaint by an FBI special agent says Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Emerald Princess on Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin.

    >>

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Authorities say a Utah man killed his wife aboard a cruise ship and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him. A criminal complaint by an FBI special agent says Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Emerald Princess on Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin.

    >>