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ECAP Seminar: Brian Hare
May 19, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Revealing Lightning with the LOFAR radio telescope
Lightning is an extremely complex phenomena that is still only poorly understood. For example, we do not know how lightning initiates, how it propagates, or why it emits intense bursts of gamma radiation. One fundamental difficulty in studying lightning is that the best state-of-the-art models are only applicable to spatial regions below a meter in size, while most observations have 10-100 m resolution. This leaves a large gap between what can been modeled and what can be measured. In the last few years, however, our group has started using the LOFAR radio telescope to probe lightning at meter and nanosecond scale resolution and have made tremendous progress in closing the gap between modeling and measurement. In this talk I will discuss the current state of lightning science, how we are using the LOFAR radio telescope to image lightning, and exciting new insights that LOFAR is giving into the initiation and propagation of lightning.