“Lightning flashes in the skies above the Earth about 50 times every second, creating a burst of electromagnetic waves that circle around the planet’s atmosphere.
Some of these waves combine and increase in strength, creating something akin to an atmospheric heartbeat that scientists can detect from the ground and use to better understand the makeup of the atmosphere and the weather it generates.
For the first time, scientists have detected this heartbeat — called the Schumann resonance — from space. This detection was surprising because the resonance was thought to be confined to a particular region of the atmosphere, between the ground and a layer of Earth’s atmosphere called the ionosphere” http://www.space.com/13770-earth-atmosphere-heartbeat-detected-space.html.
“Researchers didn’t expect to observe these resonances in space,” said Fernando Simoes, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “But it turns out that energy is leaking out and this opens up many other possibilities to study our planet from above.” [Video: Leaky Lightning Waves]