ASIM is placed outside ISS. From that position there is a perfect view down towards the thunderstorms on the top of the clouds and up to 100 km above the Earth. (Illustration, credit: DTU Space, NASA)

Thunderstorms in space holds climate information

Tuesday 27 Mar 18

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Torsten Neubert
Chief Consultant
DTU Space
+45 45 25 97 31

Contact

Carol Anne Oxborrow
Special Consultant
DTU Space
+45 45 25 97 33
From it's position at ISS 400 km above the Earth ASIM will look into phenomena in the atmosphere powered by thunderstorms.

ASIM will be placed outside the International Space Station ISS. From this position there is a perfect view down towards the thunderstorms on the top of the clouds and up to 100 km above the Earth.

ASIM will both survey thunderstorms and lightning above the clouds and the processes that power them. In this way new knowledge can be obtained about both this phenomena and climate related processes in the atmospere.

New discoveries ahead

”Our goal with ASIM is to uncover more about these fascinating phenomena and processes. We actually do not know a lot about it since this scientific field only really took of about 1990-2000 and hence still is a relatively new field. I am convinced that many exiting discoveries are ahead of us," says scientific leader af the ASIM-mission Torsten Neubert at DTU Space, The Technical University of Denmark.

Both visible and invisible phenomena 

Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes (TGFs) are 'invisible' burst of gamma-rays from thunderstorms accompanied by energetic electrons and positrons (see illustration at the top of this article).

Transient Luminous Emissions (TLEs) are visible electrical discharges that include the 'blue glimpses' at the top of thunderstorms, the 'blue jet', 'gigantic jet' and the 'red sprite'. TLEs also include 'elves' - the rapidly expanding rings of emissions at the bottom ionosphere - and the 'haloes' (see illustration at the top of this article).

ASIM is planned for launch 2 April 22:30 CET. Click here to read more about the ASIM project. 

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26 APRIL 2018