The Vodka God (allah_sulu) wrote,
The Vodka God
allah_sulu

Science!

BBC News — A space telescope has accidentally spotted thunderstorms on Earth producing beams of antimatter. Such storms have long been known to give rise to fleeting sparks of light called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. But results from the Fermi telescope show they also give out streams of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons. … It deepens a mystery about terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs – sparks of light that are estimated to occur 500 times a day in thunderstorms on Earth. … Electrons in storm regions are accelerated by the fields, reaching speeds near that of light and emitting high-energy light rays – gamma rays – as they are deflected by atoms and molecules they encounter. … "One of the great things about the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor is that it detects flashes of gamma rays all across the cosmic scale," explained Julie McEnery, Fermi project scientist at Nasa. … "But what absolutely intrigues us is the discovery that TGFs produce not just gamma rays but also produce positrons, the antimatter equivalent to electrons." … Because electrons and positrons are charged, they align along the Earth's magnetic field lines and can travel vast distances, gathered into tightly focused beams of matter and antimatter heading in opposite directions. The dance of light and matter continues when positrons encounter electrons again; they recombine and produce a flash of light of a precise and characteristic colour. It is this colour of light, picked up by the Fermi's GBM, that is a giveaway that antimatter has been produced. … Steven Cummer, an atmospheric electricity researcher from Duke University in North Carolina, called the find "truly amazing". "I think this is one of the most exciting discoveries in the geosciences in quite a long time – the idea that any planet has thunderstorms that can create antimatter and then launch it into space in narrow beams that can be detected by orbiting spacecraft to me sounds like something straight out of science fiction," he said. …

Lightning bolts carrying beams of pure antimatter, you say? Is there a Doctor Everett von Scott involved with this research?

The Telegraph — An Italian man who was struck in the head by a stray bullet during New Year's Eve celebrations is recovering after sneezing the projectile out of his nose. Darco Sangermano, 28, was hit in the temple by the .22 calibre bullet while wandering with his girlfriend through Naples – a city in Italy notorious for its rowdy New Year celebrations, often involving firearms and powerful fireworks. The bullet went through the right side of his head, behind his eye socket and lodged in his nasal passage but miraculously did no serious damage. Bleeding heavily, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance shortly after midnight, but while waiting to be seen by doctors he sneezed and the bullet shot out of his right nostril. …

Gesundheit!

Tags: holiday, news, rocky horror, science!
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