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Scientists investigate dark lightning threat to aircraft passengers: lifetime radiation dose?

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posted on Jun, 12 2013 @ 10:55 PM
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I've only recently learned about the dark lightning phenomenon--truly fascinating.
Learn all about it in member Kdog's most excellent and informative thread, found here.

Now, after stumbling upon this article published by The Register, I'm a bit concerned. Dark lightning generates Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashs (TGF's) which can be 1/2 mile wide.
A snippet:

To quantify the risk, the NRL team used the calorimeter on NASA's Fermi gamma ray space telescope to measure the energy dark lightning puts out and assess any potential risk to air travelers. This data has now been fed into a simulator looking at the effect on a Boeing 737 – and the results aren't good for the passengers.


Pilots try to avoid thunderstorms, but planes get hit by lightning fairly often.
I wonder if there has ever been a study done linking higher rates of cancer among flight crews or frequent-flyers?

I'm definitely curious to read the results of this summer's experiments.

What do you think?
Me, I'm glad I don't have to fly very often.

edit on 6/12/2013 by Olivine because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/12/2013 by Olivine because: modify title




posted on Jun, 12 2013 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Olivine
 


I'm thinking that you should buy a boat.
As for the rest of it, reality is bad for business at times.

It should be mentioned that the Health Risks of High Altitude Travel
have been located in the fine print for decades.

Did you not notice the wall mounted Mini-Kiosks that have readily available
insurance policies to sign Before you set foot aboard.

Well , there you have it.



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by Olivine
 


Lightning strikes really aren't that common. They do happen, but they don't happen all the time. It's believed that dark lightning is fairly rare (one article said about one out of every thousand).

Any time you fly, you are exposed to higher doses of radiation due to the altitude, that would increase your chances of cancer. The odds of being hit by one of these TGR bursts are incredibly high from the little I've read of them.



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 04:21 AM
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There is not too much knowledge on radiation-bursts in the atmosphere and similar phenomenons, but it's just a matter of fine-tuning our detectors to pick it up. It is a fact that once we venture in the upper atmosphere it is true that the natural radiation levels are higher. There has been many articles on the high cancer-rates for those who fly frequently. Like this one in daily mail.
www.dailymail.co.uk...



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 04:32 AM
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Hmmm first time i'd heard of 'dark lightening'.

Wonder if there's a connection to TGR bursts, and the localised bird and fish dies offs?



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 07:03 AM
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Originally posted by Wildmanimal
I'm thinking that you should buy a boat.

LOL! I am a boat owner (read: money pit), but she is a wee bit too small to get me from the east coast to the Pacific Northwest.
Alas, I am forced to fly: no escape from radiation exposure for me.
..........................


Originally posted by Zaphod58
Lightning strikes really aren't that common. They do happen, but they don't happen all the time. It's believed that dark lightning is fairly rare (one article said about one out of every thousand).

Thanks for your reply. I did some googling, and found this article concerning lightning strikes to aircraft on flightsafety.org:

The French Office National d’Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales (the national aerospace research center) estimates that an aircraft is struck by lightning on average every 1,000 flight hours — for commercial airlines, the equivalent of one strike per aircraft per year.


I lightning strike per 1000 hrs, or 1 out of every 1000 strikes generates dark lightning, or both?
.......................................

reply to post by nidstav
 


Thank you for the link to the article. I agree, now that we know dark lightning exists, we will be better able to detect it, and more accurately quantify the risks to the flying public.
.................................


Originally posted by MysterX
Wonder if there's a connection to TGR bursts, and the localized bird and fish dies offs?

Birds, possibly, but I'm not sure about fish since this occurs 6- 10 miles up in the atmosphere.
It will be interesting to learn what else these TGF's are found to influence/be linked with.
edit on 6/13/2013 by Olivine because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Olivine
I lightning strike per 1000 hrs, or 1 out of every 1000 strikes generates dark lightning, or both?


Both. So you have one strike per thousand hours, and one bolt out of every thousand being dark lightning. So the odds of it hitting a plane are pretty small.



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Wouldn't the one out of a thousand thousand be literally a one in a million chance?

Thanks olivine for posting this thread and crediting kdog for bringing it to ATS.

I was fascinated by the topic and am intrigued as it shows that even though we have come a long way in understanding our planet, it can still throw something completely foreign at us time and time again.



posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 


Something like that, yes. Puts be more worried about the plane crashing than being hit by this.



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