Compton Camera Imaging of a Gamma-Ray Glow From a Thunderstorm

E. Kuriyama*, M. Masubuchi, N. Koshikawa, R. Iwashita, A. Omata, T. Kanda, J. Kataoka, M. Tsurumi, G. Diniz, T. Enoto, Y. Wada

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Gamma-ray glows associated with thunderclouds have been observed since the 1980s, however it remains unclear how, and at which thunderstorms gamma-ray glows are generated in dense atmospheres. In this study, we report the first Compton camera imaging of a gamma-ray glow from a winter thundercloud. On 14 January 2022, using two identical Bi4Ge3O12 scintillators in energy range of 0.05–5 MeV, we detected two gamma-ray glows lasting ∼4 min in a mountain area 25 km from the Japan Sea and 410 m above sea level. The same events were also observed by the Compton camera, where the first glow we observed suggested statistically significant (4.0 and 5.9 σ level) signals of two enhanced concentrations in gamma-ray photon images in a range of 0.15–1.5 MeV. These concentrations were most clearly observed in a time window of Δt = 50 s around the peak intensity of the gamma-ray glow.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2022GL100139
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct 16


    • Compton camera
    • gamma-ray glows
    • gamma-ray imaging
    • thunderclouds

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geophysics
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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