Space winds are similar to those blowing on Earth

Space winds are similar to those blowing on EarthCredit: Ihor Kureliak on Pixabay.

Scientists have discovered currents in space that eerily mirror the winds circulating near the Earth’s surface, suggesting hidden forces linking them together. This new knowledge can provide us with a better understanding of ecosystems spread around the world and improve space-based and ground-based weather forecasts.

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A team of researchers from Kyushu University in Japan revealed in a new study recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that atmospheric turbulence in… Thermal envelope Planet Earth, known as the “gateway” to space, bases its dynamics on the same principles as the universe TroposphereThe layer that is in contact with the Earth’s surface.

Specifically, scientists have discovered that winds in the thermosphere, where the International Space Station (ISS) is located and the aurora borealis occur, The same laws of physics appear than it was in the lower atmosphere. Furthermore, they verified that winds In the thermosphere it rotates mostly in a cyclonic direction: this means that it rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Near and far winds

The thermosphere is the part of the atmosphere located approximately 80 to 550 kilometers above sea level: for this reason it is considered the entry zone into space. It’s a key area for space operations, and there too Most satellites are locatedVital for communication and scientific research. The troposphere is the layer closest to the Earth’s surface, in which phenomena such as clouds, rain, winds, and hurricanes occur.

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According to calculations, observations and analyses made by scientists, “the thermosphere and the troposphere, despite their greatly different atmospheric compositions, follow the same physical laws. The way in which Energy flows and dissipates He pointed out that in these two areas the matter is very similar. press release Researcher Huixin Liu, lead author of the new study.

Space weather forecast

Although important progress has been made in… understanding the thermosphere, The complex interplay between turbulence and waves at different scales remains largely a mystery to specialists. according to condition The Japanese researchers’ findings, published in the journal Science Alert, could shed light on this vital aspect for making predictions and studying phenomena related to living organisms. Space climate.

The scientists concluded that, as with atmospheric weather forecasting, understanding energy distributions in the thermosphere is critical to enhancing our understanding of spatial dynamics. Liu and his colleagues’ discoveries will likely be used to improve space weather prediction and ensure its functionality and safety Satellite-based technologiesWhich are becoming increasingly essential to daily life on Earth.

reference

Third-order structure functions of thermospheric zonal winds using CHAMP and GOCE observations. Huixin Liu, Facundo L. Poblete et al. Geophysical Research Letters (2024). doi:https://doi.org/10.1029/2024GL108367

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