Universe Handbook: What’s the Weather Like in Space?

Storm occur in space!


It seems to odd thinking about the cold vacuum of space as experience weather. But storms occur frequently!

This happens when a solar flare explodes into the Sun’s upper atmosphere. By doing this it instantly heats nearby gasses to millions of degrees, causing ionised gas known as plasma.

The Sun sends out a constant stream of plasma in all directions so this isn’t too odd. But when the flow of plasma becomes a flood our planet is in for some bad space weather!

Geomagnetic storms cause more than the northern lights. They can warp the Earth’s magnetic field so badly that satellites are knocked out of orbit and power grids get overwhelmed.

In 1989 6 million people in Montreal, Quebec lost power for nine hours thanks to a very strong solar storm.

> See more from Deep Space High: Universe Handbook
> Subscribe to the series for free in iTunes