Scientists confirm existence of space hurricanes

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 02, 2021, 09:53 AM IST
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Space hurricanes Photograph:(Twitter)

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These space hurricanes can lead to increased satellite problems, disturbances in high-frequency radio communications satellite navigation, communication systems and more

A group of researchers have found out that the much-talked-about space hurricanes do exist.

Using satellite data, researchers from Shandong University identified a space hurricane and found that it was not simply a pattern of air but was a whirling pattern of plasma-ionised gas.

"Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible," explained Professor Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading.

Explaining how space hurricanes are created, Lockwood said, "Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth's upper atmosphere."

He believes that since plasma and magnetic fields in the atmosphere of the planets exist throughout the universe, the findings are right to hint that space hurricanes can be a widespread phenomenon.

The researchers have claimed that the mass was raining electrons, instead of water, and had lasted for nearly eight hours before breaking down.

It was also observed that the space hurricane — which took place during a period of low geomagnetic activity — had many similar features with that of hurricanes of the Earth that form in Earth's lower atmosphere.

These space hurricanes can, probably, lead to weather effects too, such as increased satellite problems, disturbances in high-frequency radio communications, satellite navigation, communication systems and also increased errors in the over-the-horizon radar location.

As of now, the study has been published in Nature Communications.