An invisible ‘space hurricane’ detected over the North Pole for the first time

1,000 km. The plasma “space hurricane” that struck the North Pole was confirmed and described by scientists for the first time, the University of Reading announced in a press release Thursday. Despite the name, the space hurricane has nothing to do with stormy weather on Earth. Unlike the latter, which take place in the Earth’s lower atmosphere, space hurricanes take place in the upper atmosphere. The “storm” here is made up of a combination of solar winds (high-speed plasma released by the Sun) and magnetic field lines. Finally, the winds move fast and due to the magnetic field lines, they form a shape similar to that of a terrestrial hurricane. And just as a normal hurricane throws rain, the space hurricane sheds electrons. But although scientists have had theoretical knowledge about the phenomenon, it was not clear if they really existed. The fact that such storms were not visible to the naked eye only makes it even less likely that one was discovered, but one of those storms was discovered, and four weather satellites detected it over the magnetic North Pole when on August 20, By 2014, magnetic field lines at the North Pole had caused the storm of plasma and charged particles to form a spinning funnel shape, with a silent “eye” in the center, similar to the eye of a storm. This discovery, which was published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Communications from nature, is significant since it is the first recorded evidence that the phenomenon is possible. But scientists are sure that not only was it not a unique event, but that space hurricanes should be common on other planets that have a magnetic shield and have plasma. in its atmosphere.

“Magnetic and plasma fields in the atmosphere of planets exist throughout the universe, so the findings suggest that space hurricanes should be a widespread phenomenon,” explained study co-author Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading. Hurricanes are not inherently dangerous, as events in the upper atmosphere pose little or no threat to the rest of the planet. However, they could have impacts on GPS, radio signals, and even satellite drag. In a statement, lead author Professor Qing-He Zhang of Shadong University in China warned that the phenomenon could result in “increased errors in the location of the over-the-horizon radar, satellite navigation and satellite navigation systems. Communication”.

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