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Astronomers discovered, a powerful hurricane about 600 miles (1,000 km) wide of plasma hit Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Scientists call this phenomenon a “space hurricane”, and the plasma cyclone lasted 8 hours with great intensity and was recorded on August 20, 2014, according to a new study published in the scientific journal “Nature”.
The authors of the study, which revealed the event for the first time, wrote that the tornado was a messy intertwining line of magnetic field and very fast solar winds invisible to the naked eye.
Four weather satellites that passed over the North Pole detected a formation not unlike a typical Earth hurricane.
The space cyclone was shaped like a “funnel” with a quiet “eye” in the center, surrounded by many spiral arms of plasma spinning counterclockwise (an ionized gas found throughout the solar system, including Earth’s atmosphere).
The space hurricane showered beams of electrons that directly hit the Earth’s atmosphere, instead of rain, according to the scientific journal “Space”.
“Until now, space plasma tornadoes have not been certain, so proving it with such an amazing observation is unbelievable,” said study co-author Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading in Britain.
The scientist added, “Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by transferring large and unusual solar wind energy and charged particles to the Earth’s upper atmosphere.”
According to the study, this hurricane is the first space hurricane to be observed. Researchers assume that these “weather” systems could be common events on any planet that has a magnetic shield and plasma in its atmosphere.