While studying old satellite images, scientists found out that in 2014 a hurricane occurred on the border between Earth and space. The researchers could not even imagine the possibility of such a phenomenon, because there are no suitable conditions for the occurrence of strong winds in the upper atmosphere. Fortunately, scientists quickly figured out the reason for the formation of an unusual hurricane - this involved the magnetic field of our planet and the solar wind. The hurricane was accompanied by aurora borealis of amazing beauty. It was not possible to look at this phenomenon in real time, because scientists learned about it only 7 years later. But one artist showed what an unusual hurricane looked like from space. Within the framework of this article, I propose to understand how hurricanes arise on our planet and why they cannot originate in the upper atmosphere. And how did it happen that the hurricane on the border between the Earth and space did arise?
How do hurricanes occur?
Hurricanes occur in the lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere - the troposphere. In all cases, they originate above seas with warm water. When warm and humid air rises upward, a region of low pressure is created in the lower atmosphere. This is the so-called eye of the storm, which is usually about 30 kilometers in diameter. In the eye of the storm, the air has a higher temperature and lower humidity than the surrounding space. Due to different conditions, the air around this area begins to swirl strongly. Sometimes the wind speed reaches 200 kilometers per hour. In addition to this, clouds are actively formed around the eye of the storm, so hurricanes are accompanied by downpours. Sometimes they are so strong that they cause flooding.
Layers of the earth's atmosphere
New natural phenomenon
But in the upper atmosphere, the formation of hurricanes in this way is impossible. There simply cannot be conditions suitable for this. But the fact that in 2014 a hurricane arose between the Earth and space is an irrefutable fact. According to researchers from the University of Reading (UK), the diameter of this hurricane was almost 1,000 kilometers. The vortex with many spiral arms raged for almost 8 hours. During this hurricane there was even a kind of rain with accelerated electrons instead of water droplets. It sounds like something fantastic, but it really is possible.
A cosmic hurricane as seen by an artist
The hurricane was created by the earth's magnetic field and the solar wind. In short, the solar wind, which consists of charged particles, has its own magnetic field. It is also present on our planet, therefore, during the blowing of the Earth by the solar wind, various waves can arise. A process arose that vaguely resembles the formation of an ordinary hurricane. Instead of warm air, under the influence of magnetic fields, a stream of ions in the upper atmosphere rose upward. As a result of all these complex actions, a vortex arose, which was accompanied by aurora borealis.
From the ground, the 2014 space hurricane looked something like this
Unusual impact of solar activity on Earth
Scientists found it especially curious that in 2014 solar activity was very low. And even in such conditions, such a powerful and unusual phenomenon arose on the border of the Earth. Scientists now believe that in years with higher solar activity, such hurricanes should occur more often.From now on, they intend to monitor such phenomena more closely, so in the future we will certainly be able to learn more about these "space hurricanes". At the moment, this is quite a big discovery for the scientific community and proof that we still know very little about the planet we live on.
Who would have thought that even a small amount of solar activity could cause such unusual phenomena?