Thursday, April 30, 2009

Huge 'space tornadoes' spark Aurora Borealis

Giant rotating vortexes ("space tornadoes"), 44,000 miles wide and spinning at millions of miles per hour creating 100,000 amps of electricity (10-times what a lightning bolt creates) appear to be rotating above the Earth's poles, according to data from an array of data gathered from four satellites and a bunch of ground-based telescopes. (Discover Magazine)

It's suspected that these massive space tornadoes cause the northern and southern lights.

As reported earlier at Pound360,
solar winds stretch the Earth's magnetic field (magnetosphere), until it can take no more, then it snaps back into place. It's this violent snap that causes the vortexes to form.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.