Every second, lightning flashes some 50 times on Earth. Together these discharges coalesce and get stronger, creating electromagnetic waves circling around Earth, to create a beating pulse between the ground and the lower ionosphere, about 60 miles up in the atmosphere. This electromagnetic signature, known as Schumann Resonance, had only been observed from Earth's surface until, in 2011, scientists discovered they could also detect it using NASA's Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI) aboard the U.S. Air Force's Communications/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite.
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- NASA instruments document contraction of the boundary between the Earth's ionosphere, spaceMon, 15 Dec 2008, 14:22:34 EST
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- NSF/NASA 'Firefly' cubesat to study link between lightning and terrestrial gamma ray flashesMon, 17 Nov 2008, 13:21:21 EST