Lightning and Plasma Wave Observations from the Galileo Flyby of Venus

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Science  27 Sep 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5027, pp. 1522-1525
DOI: 10.1126/science.253.5027.1522


During the Galileo flyby of Venus the plasma wave instrument was used to search for impulsive radio signals from lightning and to investigate locally generated plasma waves. A total of nine events were detected in the frequency range from 100 kilohertz to 5.6 megahertz. Although the signals are weak, lightning is the only known source of these signals. Near the bow shock two types of locally generated plasma waves were observed, low-frequency electromagnetic waves from about 5 to 50 hertz and electron plasma oscillation at about 45 kilohertz. The plasma oscillations have considerable fine structure, possibly because of the formation of soliton-like wave packets.