Observing satellites is helping researchers confirm the existence of a cosmic storm, a giant plasma spilling electrons into Earth’s upper atmosphere.
The group of scientists led by Shandong University in China observed a giant storm via satellite on August 20, 2014. They analyze satellite data to construct 3D images of the phenomenon in the Earth’s ionosphere, where the atmosphere of the planet is adjacent to space. The researchers found that the spinning mass of plasma behaves very well like hurricane winds on Earth. But unlike tropical storms on the Earth’s surface, space storms dump electrons instead of water.
A space storm that stretches 1,000 km above the North Pole is spinning counterclockwise, much like a tropical storm in the northern hemisphere, and lasted nearly 8 hours before settling in disintegrate. The center of the storm was quite calm, similar to the terrestrial version. It also has many spiral arms and has a wide spread.
Space storms have many important effects on the effects of space weather, such as increased resistance of satellites, disruption of high frequency radio communications and increased errors in horizon crossing radars, satellite positioning and systems. According to a study published on 2/26 in the journal Nature Communications, the motion of space storms also plays a critical role in the interaction between the stellar wind and many other systems of the Sun.
Space weather has been the subject of research since the 1950s due to the advent of satellite technology and the first cosmic winds observed at the end of the decade. The researchers suggest that space storms could also occur near other planets and that the moon has a magnetic field and a plasma. Plasma is a material state in which a gas becomes so hot that its atoms split into independently moving electrons and ions, easily affected by effects such as the suction and repulsion of the Earth’s magnetic field.
“Previously, we didn’t even know if cosmic plasma hurricanes existed, which proves with impressive observational data. Tropical storms are associated with huge sources of energy and hurricanes are associated with huge amounts of energy. The universe is definitely formed from the solar process. Wind energy and charged particles move quickly and strongly through Earth’s upper atmosphere, ”said Mike Lockwood, professor of aerospace environmental physics at the University of Reading.