A space hurricane sounds like something that would have come out of a 2020 Mad Libs along with murder hornets. I know what the individual words mean, but I don’t think I ever would have put them together. Apparently, though, this is something we now need to keep on our cosmic radars because they for sure exist. We now have our first proof that a space hurricane happened on Earth, this one around the North Pole.
Now before you start conjuring up visions of an intergalactic storm of stars and planets getting whipped up into a space hurricane froth, know that the reality is a much different thing. The term comes from an occurrence in a planet’s atmosphere which is a “storm” of electrons rather than rain. It happens in the upper limits and usually isn’t identifiable by the human eye in the moment. The space hurricane, in relation to Earth, is a whip-up of plasma that churns together much the way your typical storm would in our sky. Check out a visual of it through animation of the data:
And another reason to not fret about a space hurricane wiping out our planet much the way its weather system counterpart does when it makes landfall is that this latest and first identified one happened years ago. In a retroactive study, by physicists, they found one that occurred over the North Pole all the way back in 2014. It was there, through historical satellite imagery that they saw a disturbance in the atmosphere. Apparently, the space hurricane spanned about 600 miles and spilled electrons all over the in a formation that resembled a storm system.
This particular space hurricane sat more than 100 miles over the North Pole and swirled for more than eight hours. There is agreement that these kinds of storms are the result of electron systems merging but it’s a little unclear about the type of energy we are talking about. Retroactively that is much more difficult to measure.
A real hurricane can wreak havoc and throw down tons of damage on areas in the storm’s path. Meanwhile, a space hurricane will have much more of an effect on electromagnetic fields and could result in disrupted communication in the area. That’s more of the thing to monitor with these systems and don’t appear to pose a physical threat to those in the area.
We continue to learn more and more about space everyday. Heck, there’s evidence that it’s hot and not cold like the movies would have us believe. Or maybe getting a first look and listen to Mars is more your bag. If not, there’s always new rockets being developed that can be reused (if they don’t blow up). It’s all on the table, so why not add a space hurricane to the mix?
Again, space hurricane information is still relatively new at this point. And this one from more than six years ago is the first monitored one in the Earth’s atmosphere. So information could be slow to come around on these things. But it’s good to know when you hear space hurricane you won’t have to worry about getting sucked up into a cosmic super system.