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back to article Planes in thunderstorms cop gamma ray bursts

It's long been known that flying exposes people to more cosmic rays than land-lubbers, but new research suggests another source of airborne irradiation: high-energy “dark lightning” that gives rise to gamma radiation. Florida Institute of Technology researcher Joseph Dwyer outlined the idea at a meeting of the European …

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Silver badge

So when.....

Will a passanger go "Hulk"?

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Happy

Re: So when.....

That was my very first thought too!

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Meh

Re: So when.....

You're right, now there is a legal defence for air rage... The new 'Hulk' defence.....

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Anonymous Coward

Armoured plane?

Why not use an A-10 "Warthog"?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Armoured plane?

Because they are trying to observe the storm, not kill it.

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Boffin

Might explain a porttion of random laptop failures?

Just a thought.

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Angel

My new superhero name...

...is DARK LIGHTNING.

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Coat

Re: My new superhero name...

Surely it's a Super Villain name? I can picture it now, "I am DARK LIGHTNING, cower in fear as I assault you with low dose, invisible radiation and in 50, 60 or maybe 70 years when you're dying of cancer, you will remember the name, DARK LIGHTNING!!!"

Mine is the cloak with matching pants that go over my trousers...

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FAIL

Re: My new superhero name...

No, that's Darth Lightning. :P

And anyway you forgot the most important part of my super power: IT ONLY AFFECTS YOU WHEN YOU ARE FLYING DEAD CENTRE THROUGH A THUNDER STORM, mortal. For I am DARK LIGHTNING.

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Calling all greenshirts to the barricades

Although radiation levels from black lightning are low, they are not negligible. "Near the tops of the storms ... the radiation doses are equivalent to about 10 chest x-rays... However, near the middle of the storms, the radiation dose could be about 10 times larger, comparable to some of the largest doses received during medical procedures and roughly equal to a full-body CT scan." While this level of radiation does not present a major risk, it is better to avoid it if possible, particularly in the cases of the young and the unborn.

What is perhaps surprising is that the dose is very much larger than any "spikes" that come from living near a nuclear power station and which the UK greenies currently claim are so damaging. Why aren't they blockading every airport, claiming travel causes leukaemia? Or should we expect to see Chris Busby's Prophylactic Travel Pills on sale soon?

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

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Coat

Unborn to actively avoid flying through the middle of thunderstorms

So, when can we see a rule from the FAA/etc. restricting unborn pilots from flying their aircraft through the centers of thunderstorms?

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the pockets full of prophylactics.

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Meh

Re: Calling all greenshirts to the barricades

greens already foam at air travel, except when it is taking them to another save the world quango meeting in an exotic tourist location. Some seem to like rail, claiming it is less CO2 emmitting, despite a study showing the exact opposite. By the time one factors in costs of building terminals, stations and connecting lines, air is less energy intensive, despite using the dreaded hydocarbon fuels. I am surpriseded greens dont foam at the amount of radiation emmitted by coal fired power stations. Double the loathing for the same price!

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Meh

Why amoured ?

would have thought structural strength to handle gust loading and some interesting engine intake design would be more relevant. NASA used to flog a DC-8 in this sort of research. Time to dust off a Buccaneer or two ?

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