Cosmic Ray Lab Reveals High Voltages in Thunderstorm with ‘Muon’ Telescope (Download PDF)


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The Cosmic Ray Laboratory (CRL) of the Tata Institute Fundamental Research (TIFR), located at the Melkavvatti road junction nearby Ooty (Tamil Nadu), made the announcement of its phenomenal discovery on production of unimaginably high voltage in a thunderstorm.

Muons recharged particles that are just like electrons and positrons, but are 200 times heavier than the Muon Telescope belongs to The Cosmic Ray Laboratory (CRL).

This is map of Melkavvatti road junction

This is Map of Melkavvatti Road Junction

This is map of Melkavvatti road junction

This is Image show in Solar Cosmic Ray

This is Image Show in Solar Cosmic Ray

This is Image show in Solar Cosmic Ray

Past Observation

  • The CRL by using its ‘muon telescope’ helps in revealing how to measure the high voltage produced in a thunderstorm. CRL has developed a tool in ‘muon telescope’ to discover the electrical potential in thunderstorm.

  • It was also revealed that the lightning strikes that kill lives in a flash are caused by high voltage in thunderstorms.

  • The Scientists made valiant attempts; the cutting-edge instrument needed for measuring the thunderstorm voltage was missing for nearly a century.

Latest Observation

  • Scientists at CRL, in 2016 made a thundering discovery of weakening of Earth’s magnetic shield due to a solar storm.

  • They discovered high voltage in a thunderstorm, which may pave way for applied science to benefit in the years to come.

  • The GRAPES-3 telescope (Gamma Ray Astronomy at PeV Energies Phase-3) at CRL showed a huge voltage of 1,300,000,000 Volts (1.3 GV) (130 crore volts in Indian terms) in a thunderstorm on 1 December 2014 in Ooty by the muon imaging.

  • The ‘Grapes-3 muon telescope’ is a sensitive instrument operated by the CRL in Ooty.

  • This observation was carried out in collaboration of several institutes and universities from Japan and India.

  • Muon intensity changes due to thunderstorm voltage, which allowed scientists to calculate this voltage of 1.3 GV. Basically, higher the voltage in the thunderstorm, lower will be the muon intensity.

  • The previous record voltage was of 0.13 GV.

  • A huge voltage of 1,300,000,000 Volts (1.3 GV) are needed to explain the production of high-energy (100 MeV) gamma rays in Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes.

  • ‘Grapes-3’ aims to probe acceleration of cosmic rays in 4 astrophysical settings. These include acceleration of particles to,

    • ~100 MeV in atmospheric electric fields through muons,

    • ~10 GeV in the Solar System through muons,

    • ~1 PeV in our galaxy,

    • ~100 EeV in the nearby universe through measurement of diffuse gamma ray flux. i

- Published/Last Modified on: July 15, 2019

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