Tag: astrophysics

Thunderstorms Shoot Beams of Antimatter Into Space. Really!

By Eliza Strickland | January 11, 2011 1:15 pm

In Greek mythology, Zeus hurled thunderbolts down from Mount Olympus whenever some uppity mortal or ravaging monster dared distract him from his carousing. New research suggests this mythological god-king would have had another weapon at his disposal as well: beams of antimatter.

Researchers working with the Fermi space telescope made the discovery while examining the gamma-ray flashes that thunderstorms are known to produce. (The multitasking Fermi can observe everything from gamma ray bursts in the most distant reaches of the universe to terrestrial phenomena.) The high-energy gamma-ray flashes are thought to be caused by the electrical fields produced during lightning storms.

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