Resolution of the sprite polarity paradox: The role of halos

E. Williams, C. L. Kuo, J. Bór, G. Stori, R. Newsome, T. Adachi, R. Boldi, A. Chen, E. Downes, R. R. Hsu, W. Lyons, M. M.F. Saba, M. Taylor, H. T. Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study revisits the sprite polarity paradox, first manifest by observations that exceptional cloud-to-ground flashes with negative polarity generally did not produce detectable sprites. The paradox is here resolved by the Transient Luminous Event (TLE) known as the halo, which on account of its inferior brightness (0.3 MR versus 1.5 MR) and substantially shorter duration (1 ms versus 10-100 ms) in comparison with the sprite, is not readily detectable in ground-based video cameras with standard field duration (16.7-20 ms). Observations with improved temporal resolution (ISUAL (Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightnings) from space and PIPER (Photometric Imager of Precipitated Electron Radiation) observations from the ground) provide evidence that flashes with negative polarity dominate the global halo population, and that the halo numbers are more than sufficient to account for the previously missing TLEs. The evidence for lightning polarity-dependent TLEs (sprites, positive and halos, negative) is attributable to the well established but incompletely understood contrast in the behavior of negative and positive lightning flashes to ground.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberRS2002
JournalRadio Science
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 4

Fingerprint

sprite
paradoxes
Lightning
halos
polarity
lightning
Image sensors
flash
Antenna grounds
Video cameras
Luminance
electron radiation
Radiation
temporal resolution
Electrons
brightness
cameras
electron

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Williams, E., Kuo, C. L., Bór, J., Stori, G., Newsome, R., Adachi, T., ... Su, H. T. (2012). Resolution of the sprite polarity paradox: The role of halos. Radio Science, 47(2), [RS2002]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011RS004794
Williams, E. ; Kuo, C. L. ; Bór, J. ; Stori, G. ; Newsome, R. ; Adachi, T. ; Boldi, R. ; Chen, A. ; Downes, E. ; Hsu, R. R. ; Lyons, W. ; Saba, M. M.F. ; Taylor, M. ; Su, H. T. / Resolution of the sprite polarity paradox : The role of halos. In: Radio Science. 2012 ; Vol. 47, No. 2.
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Williams, E, Kuo, CL, Bór, J, Stori, G, Newsome, R, Adachi, T, Boldi, R, Chen, A, Downes, E, Hsu, RR, Lyons, W, Saba, MMF, Taylor, M & Su, HT 2012, 'Resolution of the sprite polarity paradox: The role of halos', Radio Science, vol. 47, no. 2, RS2002. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011RS004794

Resolution of the sprite polarity paradox : The role of halos. / Williams, E.; Kuo, C. L.; Bór, J.; Stori, G.; Newsome, R.; Adachi, T.; Boldi, R.; Chen, A.; Downes, E.; Hsu, R. R.; Lyons, W.; Saba, M. M.F.; Taylor, M.; Su, H. T.

In: Radio Science, Vol. 47, No. 2, RS2002, 04.04.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Kuo, C. L.

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AU - Stori, G.

AU - Newsome, R.

AU - Adachi, T.

AU - Boldi, R.

AU - Chen, A.

AU - Downes, E.

AU - Hsu, R. R.

AU - Lyons, W.

AU - Saba, M. M.F.

AU - Taylor, M.

AU - Su, H. T.

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N2 - This study revisits the sprite polarity paradox, first manifest by observations that exceptional cloud-to-ground flashes with negative polarity generally did not produce detectable sprites. The paradox is here resolved by the Transient Luminous Event (TLE) known as the halo, which on account of its inferior brightness (0.3 MR versus 1.5 MR) and substantially shorter duration (1 ms versus 10-100 ms) in comparison with the sprite, is not readily detectable in ground-based video cameras with standard field duration (16.7-20 ms). Observations with improved temporal resolution (ISUAL (Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightnings) from space and PIPER (Photometric Imager of Precipitated Electron Radiation) observations from the ground) provide evidence that flashes with negative polarity dominate the global halo population, and that the halo numbers are more than sufficient to account for the previously missing TLEs. The evidence for lightning polarity-dependent TLEs (sprites, positive and halos, negative) is attributable to the well established but incompletely understood contrast in the behavior of negative and positive lightning flashes to ground.

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Williams E, Kuo CL, Bór J, Stori G, Newsome R, Adachi T et al. Resolution of the sprite polarity paradox: The role of halos. Radio Science. 2012 Apr 4;47(2). RS2002. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011RS004794