Scientists have confirmed the existence of space hurricanes, with a 600 mile-wide mass spotted above the North Pole. Researchers led by China’s Shandong University used satellite data to identify this space hurricane. They found out that it wasn’t a whirling pattern of air but a whirling pattern of plasma – ionised gas. They’re calling it the ” Space Hurricane”
It is a gigantic, 1,000 kilometre-across “space hurricane” swirling hundreds of kilometres above the North Pole.
The team analyzed data from 2014 that indicated low geomagnetic activity over the North Pole dating. This finding was something never seen before; it was an anticlockwise spinning vortex that spewed electrons down at our planet’s upper atmosphere for eight long hours.
The new research could potentially help scientists predict space weather, disturbances in our space environment usually caused by a stream of plasma coming from the Sun that is also referred to as solar winds.
Space hurricanes are in a way similar to surface-based hurricanes. They are marked by the release of massive amounts of energy and feature a quiet center.
The team, led by Shandong University in China, wrote in a paper about the work published in the journal Nature Communications, “This hurricane shows strong circular horizontal plasma flow with shears, a nearly zero-flow center, and a coincident cyclone-shaped aurora caused by strong electron precipitation associated with intense upward magnetic field-aligned currents,”
A few sticking observations were made such as the Scientists suggest that such space hurricanes could be a universal phenomenon that could be found near any planets or moons that have magnetic fields.
Mike Lockwood, a space scientist from the University of Reading Space stated, “Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed,” “So to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible.”