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What is space hurricane?

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

What is space hurricane?


Scientists from China recently discovered a space hurricane for the first time ever above the North pole.

  • Previously, it was believed, space hurricanes were a theoretical phenomenon.

Key facts:

  • As per their report, the hurricane measured roughly 600 miles across and rained down charged electrons for as long as eight hours.
  • The space hurricane spun counterclockwise at speeds up to 4,700 miles per hour, the academic paper reported.
  • The hurricane was reported in space directly above the North Pole.

Why it matters?

The new finding could help scientists learn more about how the Sun affects Earth’s atmosphere, gathering more details on how space weather might harm satellites and other objects in orbit.

What are space hurricanes?

  • They are thought to be a result of the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field interacting.
  • It is a huge, funnel-like, spiral geomagnetic storm that occurs above the polar Ionosphere of Earth, during extremely quiet conditions.
  • They are related to the aurora borealis phenomenon, as the electron precipitation from the storm’s funnel produces gigantic, cyclone-shaped auroras.
  • They are made up of plasmas, consisting of extremely hot ionized gases that rotate at extremely high speeds.


Space hurricanes are caused by plasma unleashed from the sun as solar wind. These charged particle clouds travel through space and fuel magnetic storms as they interact with magnetic fields.



  • The researchers think these kinds of storms could create more drag on satellites and interfere with radio signals and communications, making these events particularly important to understand.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is a space hurricane?
  2. Formation.
  3. Key features.
  4. Where is it formed?
  5. How is it different from regular hurricanes?

Mains Link:

Write a note on space hurricanes.

Sources: ET.