Space Tornadoes

Space tornadoes is a weather term that can have 2 different meanings. A space tornado can mean a tornado that occurs in outer space or it can mean terrestrial tornadoes that can be seen from space. Keep in mind that only terrestrial tornadoes on Earth are technically classified as a real tornado.

Cosmic Tornadoes from Young Stars

Space tornadoes or cosmic tornadoes are events that occur in the formation of new stars.
While the term space tornado is not an official term, the energetic flow of materials from the formation of a young star can be as quick as 62 miles per second (100 km/s). According to NASA, the outflow of materials is actually known as a Herbig-Haro (HH) object. An HH object is a celestial object believed to be an embryonic star found within the boundary of a dark cloud.

Solar Windstorm Tornadoes

A space tornado can actually result from solar windstorms that produce funnel-shaped clouds of charged particles. The solar wind blows at 600,000 to 2,000,000 miles per hour. When the solar wind comes in contact with Earth's magnetic field, beautiful auroras or Northern and Southern Lights can result.

New research from the University of California has made detailed measurements of these space tornadoes, also known as substorm current wedges. According to a National Geographic News story, space tornadoes kick-start terrestrial auroras.

The University of California team has discovered that space tornadoes form at least every three hours and take just a minute to reach the ionosphere.

Tornadoes from Space

Tornadoes and other weather hazards can be seen from space as a result of the development of satellites. The world's first weather satellite was named TIROS.
Launched in 1960, TIROS paved the way for other weather satellites to get accurate views of Earth and the atmosphere.

Weather on Other Planets

An interesting site called How's the Weather on Other Planets? is an excellent site to tour the typical weather on other planets. For instance, the temperature on Venus, with an intense greenhouse effect, can reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also tour the 1,00 mile per hour winds on the planet Saturn.
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Your Citation
Oblack, Rachelle. "Space Tornadoes." ThoughtCo, Mar. 4, 2016, Oblack, Rachelle. (2016, March 4). Space Tornadoes. Retrieved from Oblack, Rachelle. "Space Tornadoes." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2018).