Monday January 20, 2020
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Framing thunder: Scientists capture first ever image of boisterous bang radiating from a lightning strike

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Lightning, usually brings out scary images within the mind, thoughts of nature’s wrath being vented on the Earth. At the same time, lightning has been the object of the photographer’s affection, the beauty of its arc seducing their lusty lenses to capture the detail of the phenomenon.

Now, to take matters further, scientists have captured a picture of the sound that goes along with it, in what is touted as the first ever detailed image of thunder.

The image was captured by sending a copper wire into a cloud to make it send down thunder and lightning by Maher Dayeh, a heliophysicist from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

The event was recorded with 15 microphones that were laid out 95 meters from the lightning, which together helped capture the sound waves.

The images, which are made up of acoustic maps, are captured using a special equipment that can visualize the way that the sound moves in space.

Through the capturing of sound, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of the physics behind the natural strike.

Image: UNIV. OF FLORIDA, FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, SRI
Image:SRI

Lightning is created by electrical charges move either within a cloud or between the cloud and the ground. It causes sudden increase in pressure and temperature which produces sudden expansion of the surrounding air, which in turn results in a sonic shock wave called thunder.

Video of starting lightning with rockets

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Mars Losing Water Faster Than Expectations of The Scientists

The ExoMars rover will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life

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Mars
Mars today is cold and dry – a desert world -- but dry river valleys and lakebeds suggest that water covered much of the Red Planet billions of years ago. Previous research has also found that Martian water mostly escaped into space. Pixabay

Mars may have been a place brimming with water in the form of seas, lakes and rivers once but all of that evaporated into space as researchers now report that the Red Planet is losing water faster than expected.

Mars today is cold and dry – a desert world — but dry river valleys and lakebeds suggest that water covered much of the Red Planet billions of years ago. Previous research has also found that Martian water mostly escaped into space.

The gradual disappearance of the water occurs when sunlight and chemistry turn water molecules into the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that they are made up of. When they are broken down, Mars’s weak gravity is unable to keep hold of them and they disappear off into space, according to the study, published in the journal Science.

In the new study, an international research team, led partly by Franck Montmessin from French National Centre for Scientific Research in France, revealed that water vapour is accumulating in large quantities and unexpected proportions at an altitude of over 80 km in the Martian atmosphere.

The development was spotted using the Trace Gas Orbiter probe that was sent to the Red planet on board the ExoMars (Exploration of Mars) mission, run by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its Russian counterpart Roscosmos.

Measurements showed that large atmospheric pockets are even in a state of supersaturation, with the atmosphere containing 10 to 100 times more water vapour than its temperature should theoretically allow.

“With the observed supersaturation rates, the capacity of water to escape would greatly increase during certain seasons,” the authors wrote. The researchers point out that seasonal changes were the key factors behind how water vapour was distributed in the Martian atmosphere.

Mars
Mars may have been a place brimming with water in the form of seas, lakes and rivers once but all of that evaporated into space as researchers now report that the Red Planet is losing water faster than expected. Pixabay

The 2020 mission of the ExoMars programme will deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars. A Proton rocket will be used to launch the mission, which will arrive to Mars after a nine-month journey.

The ExoMars rover will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life.

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It will collect samples with a drill and analyse them with next-generation instruments. ExoMars will be the first mission to combine the capability to move across the surface and to study Mars at depth. (IANS)