Space hurricanes, the silent enemies of Earth

Space hurricanes

Every year, both in the Pacific and the Atlantic, hurricanes (or typhoons, if we are in Asia) form that can be of little intensity, to have the necessary force to destroy everything in their path. But, What would happen if space hurricanes hit Earth?

This, while it could be (and, we are not going to deny it, should be) simply a nightmare, something that is not real, unfortunately a study says otherwise. Unlikely, yes, but likely after all.

What are space hurricanes?

To understand how they are formed, we have to talk about the Sun or, more specifically, the solar wind. This type of wind gives rise to the development of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. Also called Kelvin waves or Kelvin-Helmholtz cirrus waves, occur when a flow occurs within a continuous fluid or when there is a velocity difference across the interface between two fluids.

Although they are more than 500 thousand kilometers away, Katariina Nykyri, a researcher at the Florida Center for Space and Atmospheric Research, indicated that can produce ultra-frequency fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field lines and interact with particles in the radiation belt.

How would they affect the Earth?

Solar wind impacting the atmosphere

Space hurricanes are a real danger to communications satellites and space missions. They are »one of the main ways the solar wind carries energy, mass and momentum into the magnetosphere; because of this, they affect how quickly Kelvin-Helmholtz waves grow and their size.

The instability caused by the plasma would bounce off the Earth's magnetic field, being able to create bands of thermal energy about 67 thousand kilometers from the planet. Bearing this in mind, it is essential to understand the mechanisms that affect the growth and properties of these phenomena.

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