Saturday 6 March 2021

First Space Hurricane Discovered : Science Loop

This is pretty interesting - the first-ever (first ever that was observed by humans) 'space hurricane' was detected over the North Pole. For the first time, astronomers have detected a powerful, 600-mile-wide (1,000 kilometers) hurricane of plasma in Earth's upper atmosphere - a phenomenon they're calling a "space hurricane." The space hurricane certainly raged for nearly 8 hours on Aug. 20, 2014. This fascinating phenomenon behaved similarly to the wind-based hurricanes we find on Earth, but this space version rained electrons instead of water. It seems that any planet with plasma and a magnetic field could have these 'violent' space storms, researchers said.

The hurricane seems to be formed from a tangled mess of magnetic field lines and fast-flying solar wind. The hurricane was invisible to the naked eye. However, 4 weather satellites that passed over the North Pole detected a formation not unlike a typical terrestrial hurricane. The intense space hurricane was shaped like a funnel with a quiet "eye" at the center. It was surrounded by several counterclockwise-spinning spiral arms of plasma (ionized gas found all over the solar system, including in Earth's atmosphere).

Until this important discovery, it was uncertain if space plasma hurricanes existed. The existence was proved with this striking observation. These space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and fast transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Plasma and magnetic fields in the atmosphere of planets certainly exist throughout the universe, so the findings suggest space hurricanes should be a widespread phenomena.

This science phenomenon was discovered by a team of researchers from Shandong University in China. They had observed the storm over the Arctic region on 20 August 2014, before identifying its nature in 2021. The research team also consisted of scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway. The team observed the space hurricane for 8 hours, before it gradually broke down. The storm was observed during a certain period of low solar and geomagnetic activity.


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    1. Thanks for liking the post about space discoveries.

      Here is another interesting recent space discovery:

      A giant, sizzling planet may be orbiting the star Vega.

      Vega is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The star may play host to a giant planet with average surface temperatures of 5,390 degrees Fahrenheit.

      Vega is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Lyra. This star is relatively close at only 25 light-years (7.7 pc) from the Sun, and, together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the most luminous stars in the Sun's neighborhood. It is the 5th-brightest star in the night sky. It is also the second-brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus.

      Vega has certainly been extensively studied by astronomers. It is so-called "arguably the next most important star in the sky after the Sun". Vega was the northern pole star around 12,000 BC and will be so again around the year 13,727, when its declination will be +86° 14′. Interestingly, Vega was the first star other than the Sun to be photographed and the first to have its spectrum recorded.

      Astronomers have discovered new hints of a giant, scorching-hot planet orbiting the Vega star.

      The important research, published this month in The Astrophysical Journal, was led by University of Colorado Boulder student Spencer Hurt, an undergraduate in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences.

      Scientists can really see Vega with telescopes even when it is light out, which makes it a prime candidate for research, said study coauthor Samuel Quinn.

      Read more about it here: