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Quote from source:The first evidence that thunderstorms can function as huge natural particle accelerators has been collected by an international team of researchers.
In a presentation at a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in Glasgow last week, Martin Füllekrug of Bath University described how the team detected radio waves coinciding with the appearance of "sprites" – glowing orbs that occasionally flicker into existence above thunderstorms. The radio waves suggest the sprites can accelerate nearby electrons, creating a beam with the same power as a small nuclear power plant.
"The discovery of the particle accelerator allows [one] to apply the knowledge gained in particle physics to the real world, and put the expected consequences to experimental testing," Füllekrug told physicsworld.com.
An old idea
The idea of natural particle accelerators existing just kilometres above our heads first came in 1925, when the UK physicist and Nobel laureate Charles Wilson investigated the effects of a thundercloud's electric field. Wilson claimed that the electric field would cause an electrical breakdown of the Earth's atmosphere above the cloud, leading to transient phenomena such as sprites.
Originally posted by Xcouncil=wisdom
Not about particle accelerators in the sky sorry...but as far as learning about lighting
The Science chanel if it is available to you has a show call Sci-trek. An episode that has recently aired 'Bolts of fire' definately worth a watch.