Analyzing old reports from meteorological satellites in search of lost data, American scientists found traces of a strange event, which they dubbed a “space hurricane.” It happened on August 20, 2014, but remained unnoticed – nothing of the kind was observed before, and therefore did not pay due attention to what was happening. Now, having double-checked the information with the help of various sources, scientists announced the first-ever evidence of the existence of plasma hurricanes in the upper atmosphere of our planet.
The term “hurricane” in this case is as accurate as possible, because what is happening in near space practically repeats the well-known weather phenomenon. This hurricane had an “eye” – a calm zone in the center, and very active areas at the edges. The diameter of the formation exceeded 1000 km, the hurricane spun counterclockwise and lasted eight hours. The only difference is that instead of water droplets, plasma ions flew in it, which were accelerated by a strong cosmic wind.
Interestingly, the hurricane arose during a period of low geomagnetic activity, so the reason for its formation is unlikely to be related to processes on Earth. However, this is only a guess, scientists have yet to understand the mechanism of cosmic hurricanes. We still know too little about this phenomenon and there are still many interesting discoveries ahead.