EGU General Assembly 2020
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Observation of a Terrestrial Electron Beam during the tropical cyclone Joaninha in March 2019

David Sarria1, Pavlo Kochkin1, Nikolai Østgaard1, Andrew Mezentsev1, Nikolai G. Lehtinen1, Martino Marisaldi1, Carolina Maiorana1, Torsten Neubert2, Victor Reglero3, Brant E. Carlson1,4, Kjetil Ullaland1, Shiming Yang1, Georgi Genov1, Bi Qureshi1, Ca Budtz-Jørgensen2, Ir Kuvvetli2, Fr Christiansen2, Ol Chanrion2, Ja Navarro-Gonzales3, and Paul H. Connell3
David Sarria et al.
  • 1University of Bergen, Birkeland Centre for Space Science, , Bergen, Norway (
  • 2National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
  • 3University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
  • 4Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States

Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) are short (~20 us to ~2 ms) flashes of high energy (< 40 MeV) photons, produced by thunderstorms When interacting with the atmosphere, the TGF’s photons produce relativistic electrons and positrons at higher altitudes, and a fraction is able to escape the atmosphere [1,2,3]. The electrons/positrons are then bounded to Earth's magnetic field lines and can travel large distances inside the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. This phenomenon is called a Terrestrial Electron Beam (TEB).

The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM), dedicated to the study of TGF and associated events, started to operate in June 2018. ASIM contains an optical instrument (MMIA) made of micro-cameras and photometers, as well the Modular X and Gamma-ray Sensor (MXGS) for high energy radiation. MXGS is composed of the low energy detector (LED, 50 keV to 400 keV) and the High Energy detector (HED, 300 keV to 40 MeV). 

This presentation is focused on a new event which was detected on March 24, 2019. The TEB originated from rainbands produced by the tropical cyclone Joaninha, in the Indian Ocean, close to Madagascar. This observation shows, for the first time to our knowledge: (1) the low energy part (>50 keV) of the TEB spectrum, using the LED, (2) an estimate of the incoming direction (to ISS) of the electron Beam from recorded data.


[1] J. R., Dwyer, B. W., Grefenstette and D. M. Smith. High-energy electron beams launched into space by thunderstorms. DOI: 10.1029/2007GL032430. Geophysical Research Letters, 2008.

[2] B. E. Carlson T. Gjesteland N. Østgaard. Terrestrial gamma-ray flash electron beam geometry, fluence, and detection frequency. DOI: 10.1029/2011JA016812. Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 2011.

[3] D. Sarria, P. Kochkin, N. Østgaard et al. The First Terrestrial Electron Beam Observed by the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor. DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027071. Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 2019.

How to cite: Sarria, D., Kochkin, P., Østgaard, N., Mezentsev, A., Lehtinen, N. G., Marisaldi, M., Maiorana, C., Neubert, T., Reglero, V., Carlson, B. E., Ullaland, K., Yang, S., Genov, G., Qureshi, B., Budtz-Jørgensen, C., Kuvvetli, I., Christiansen, F., Chanrion, O., Navarro-Gonzales, J., and Connell, P. H.: Observation of a Terrestrial Electron Beam during the tropical cyclone Joaninha in March 2019, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3899,, 2020

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