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lightning measurements from the pioneer venus orbiterThe plasma wave instrument on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter frequently detects strong and impulsive low-frequency signals when the spacecraft traverses the nightside ionosphere near periapsis. These particular noise bursts appear only when the local magnetic field is strong and steady and when the field is oriented to point down to the ionosphere thus; the signals have all characteristics of lightning whistlers. We have tried to identify lightning sources between the cloud layers and the planet itself by tracing rays along the B-field from the Orbiter down toward the surface. An extensive data set, consisting of measurements through Orbit 1185, strongly indicates a clustering of lightning sources near the Beta and Phoebe Regios, with an additional significant cluster near the Atla Regio at the eastern edge of Aphrodite Terra. These results suggest that there are localized lightning sources at or near the planetary surface.
Document ID
19840034431
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Scarf, F. L.
(TRW Space and Technology Group Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Russell, C. T.
(California, University Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1983
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 10
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS2-9842
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS2-9491
PROJECT: PROJECT PIONEER
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other