|Gamma rays may be hitting commercial flights.|
‘Dark lightning’ may be blasting airline passengers with gamma rays, research has revealed.
Over a decade ago, researchers unexpectedly discovered thunderstorms that could generate brief but powerful bursts of gamma rays, Live Science reported.
So-called ‘dark lightning’ – almost invisible within clouds – are able to blind sensors on satellites hundreds of miles away but do not seem to reach truly dangerous levels.
These gamma ray flashes can occur at similar altitudes where commercial aircraft regularly fly.
Whether the gamma ray radiation is hazardous to airline passengers has yet to be properly determined.
“We know in detail how black holes work at the centres of distant galaxies, but we don't really understand what is going on inside thunderclouds just a few miles over our heads,” Florida Institute of Technology physicist researcher Joseph Dwyer said.