Scientists say they confirmed the existence of space hurricanes after analyzing a swirling mass of plasma 1,000 km wide spotted hundreds of miles above the North Pole.
The space hurricane, seen by satellites in Earth’s upper atmosphere, showered electrons instead of water, spread counterclockwise, and lasted nearly eight hours before collapsing.
Hurricanes are expected to cause significant space weather effects and disrupt GPS systems, the scientists found.
A team of scientists, led by Shandong University in China, analyzed observations made by satellites in August 2014 and created a 3D image of the hurricane in Earth’s ionosphere.
The results, which were published in Nature Communications, confirmed the existence of space hurricanes, which had not been detected before, reproduced the main characteristics of the event and explained its formation.
Professor Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading, said hurricanes could be a universal phenomenon on planets and moons with magnetic fields and plasma.
He said: “Until now, it was not certain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove it with…
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