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Article

Gamma-ray emission from thunderstorm discharges

Physics Letters A. 2011. Vol. 375. No. 15. P. 1619-83. 1625.
Zybin K., Gurevich A. V., Chubenko A. P., Karashtin A. N.

Fine features of gamma-ray radiation registered during a thunderstorm at Tien-Shan Mountain Cosmic Ray Station are presented. Long duration (100–600 ms) gamma-ray bursts are found. They are for the first time identified with atmospheric discharges (lighting). Gamma-ray emission lasts all the time of the discharge and is extremely non-uniform consisting of numerous flashes. Its peak intensity in the flashes exceeds the gamma-ray background up to two orders of magnitude. Exclusively strong altitude dependence of gamma radiation is found. The observation of gamma radiation at the height 4–8 km could serve as a new important method of atmospheric discharge processes investigation.