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, observed by satellites in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, was raining electrons instead of water. It spun counterclockwise and lasted nearly eight hours before collapsing.
These events are expected to cause significant effects of space weather and disruption of GPS systems, the scientists found.
The observed hurricane, which occurred during a period of low geomagnetic activity in 2014, could be one of many to occur in our solar system and beyond.
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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. They also reproduced the main features of the event and explained its formation.
Professor Mike Lockwood, space researcher at the University of …
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