This is more powerful than TGIF. NASA scientists see Fermi Catches Gamma-ray Flashes from Tropical Storms. It occurs a thousand times a day when thunderstorms fire off fleeting bursts of some of the highest-energy light naturally found on Earth.
They're called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs). They last less than a millisecond and produce gamma rays with tens of millions of times the energy of visible light. Since its launch in 2008, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has recorded more than 4,000 TGFs, which scientists are studying to better understand how the phenomenon relates to lightning activity, storm strength and the life cycle of storms.
For the first time ever NASA scientists analyzed dozens of TGFs launched by the largest and strongest weather systems on the planet: Tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons.
Additional research was published March 16 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.