Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Plane Records Flight Through Unusual/Mysterious Antimatter Cloud

This is a different kind of story for the blog. But it's so dam interesting I can't pass it by!
Please share some thoughts???!!! 

 In what sounds like a tale from the Bermuda Triangle, an atmospheric physicist, called Joseph Dwyer, was flying through a massive thunderstorm, when he suddenly found himself in the middle of a huge cloud of antimatter

The physicist was piloting a modified Gulfstream V plane on a scientific mission and came across the strange phenomenon by accident.
Gulfstream V plane

Dwyer and his co-pilot mistook a line of thunderstorms for the Georgia coast on their radar, but by the time they realized this, they had no way out.
As they entered the heart of the storm, the scientific instruments on board suddenly began to register something totally unexpected. The plane was being surrounded by positron-electron explosions causing peaks of high-energy, photon gamma rays – a clear sign of antimatter.
The plane plunged downward and began to shake violently. “I really thought I was going to die,” Dwyer said.

So what is antimatter?

ExtremeTech explains that; "Antimatter is the name we give to particles with the same mass, but opposite charge, as the particles of which we are composed. When an antiparticle comes in contact with its corresponding “normal” particle, they annihilate each other and release gamma rays. In this case, the team detected a large number of positrons (the antiparticle of an electron) in that storm."
Image of an actual matter-antimatter annihilation due to an atom of antihydrogen captured during a CERN experiment.
But the positrons in the storm seemed to somehow steer themselves towards the plane, and what force did that remains a mystery.
It is possible the plane itself was interacting with the antimatter. Nature says that the positrons could have been annihilated in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft, or even on the plane itself. Aleksandr Gurevich, an atmospheric physicist at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, suggests that the plane's wings could have become charged, producing extremely intense electric fields around them, causing the creation of positrons.
 The incident actually took place in 2009, but the story has only just come out, because scientists have been at a loss to explain what happened – and they still don't have all the answers.
Dwyer, from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, told Nature; “This was so strange that we sat on this observation for several years.” Scientists are sure the findings were not the result of some instrument malfunction. They have no doubt that Dwyer's plane correctly detected antimatter. "The team’s data are a “cast-iron signature” of positrons, said Jasper Kirkby, a particle physicist at the CERN particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. However, the data which was recorded is puzzling. In particular, the size of the antimatter cloud was astounding. It measured between one to 2 km (1.25 miles) across – something never seen before, and experts still don't have an adequate explanation for that. “We tried for five years to model the production of the positrons,” and failed, says Dwyer. Antimatter, in general, is extremely ray. When it enters the Earth's atmosphere, it usually comes in the form of cosmic rays from outer space. However, it is known that thunderstorms can also produce some anti-matter, but not on this scale. Electrons in a thunderstorm can accelerate to close to the speed of light. Electron-positrons then collide with an atom nucleus and emit gamma rays.

NASA image of antimatter being emitted from clouds
NASA image of antimatter being emitted from clouds
 But, what baffles scientists is that, although the plane detected gamma ray spikes, the overall energy of the gamma rays present was insufficient to have produced the huge amount of antimatter recorded.
Kirkby says that estimates of the size of the cloud might be too high, and that deeper investigations and experiments need to be made. Dwyer and his colleagues are sending special balloons into the center of severe thunderstorms to find out more. Nature also reports that the US National Science Foundation plans to fly a particle detector on an A-10 ‘Warthog’ into storms – something described as an armored anti-tank plane that could withstand the extreme environment. The thing is – it isn't just the antimatter which is mysterious – but that we lack sufficient scientific knowledge of what happens in thunderstorms in general. Dwyer said;
 Dwyer said;
“The insides of thunder­storms are like bizarre landscapes that we have barely begun to explore.”


  1. Interesting indeed and will pass around to a few friends for their thoughts. This could explain the latest mishap of Malaysian airliner. The pilots asked for permission to change their flight do to a huge storm in front of them. The air traffic crew took to long to get back to them and by then the had disappeared from radar

    1. Hm!
      jo, now that's interesting? Could the Malaysian airliner disappeared because these two matters cancel on another out?
      That hadn't occured to me- but what is mysterious to me about all this is sentence:

      But the positrons in the storm seemed to somehow steer themselves towards the plane, and what force did that remains a mystery.

      what the hell does that mean?

    2. these two matters cancel one another out?

    3. and jo, if anyone you pass this along to offers some interesting comment, let me know, ok?

  2. Actually I do believe that what they experienced was NOT antimatter, but high energy plasma.... The fact is that antimatter cannot exist in the same environment as matter, the particles of antimatter would collide instantly with matter and explode/disintegrate.... A plane flying through "antimatter" would not survive as well, since its fuselage is made up of matter and would have disintegrated or exploded in contact with the "antimatter"...

    Interesting though,and shows that we still do not understand yet our own atmospheric phenomena....

    1. Hey North!
      ok, your theory on matter anti matter is what I understand
      but high energy plasma? if you have time, can you explain a bit more about that?
      or leave a link to read?
      I found this story most interesting and perplexing

  3. And the Malaysian MH370 disappearance was clearly a theft in action to turn that aircraft into a false flag flying bomb... Not due to atmospheric plasma....

  4. There is a lot of material online about atmospheric phenomena and how in theory electrical disturbances generate plasma... It does make for interesting reading...

  5. Sorry I had the wrong flight and BB2 sent this on lighting.