A huge part of the Sun broke off of its surface and created a tornado-like swirl around its North Pole. Even though researchers are working to understand how it happened, a purported video of the event has shocked the space community.
The extraordinary phenomenon was captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope and announced last week on Twitter by space weather forecaster Dr. Tamitha Skov.
Scientists are more concerned about the most recent development because the Sun continues to emit solar flares (also known as prominences) that can occasionally interfere with communications on Earth.
“Discuss the polar vortex! Material from a northern prominence recently detached from the main filament and is now revolving around the star’s north pole in a huge polar vortex. The implications for comprehending the dynamics of the Sun’s atmosphere above 55 degrees cannot be overstated!” Last week, Dr. Skov stated in a tweet.
The prominence, as defined by NASA, is a sizable bright feature extending from the Sun’s surface. Although there have been other instances of this kind, the scientific community is baffled by this one.
Additional observations of the SolarPolarVortex show that material travelled around the pole at a latitude of about 60 degrees in about 8 hours. This means that 96 kilometres per second, or 60 miles per second, is the upper bound for the estimation of the horizontal wind speed in this event.” Dr. Skov stated in a later tweet.
A piece of the prominence broke off and was whipped into the solar atmosphere, according to solar physicist Scott McIntosh of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research, who has been observing the Sun for decades. McIntosh told Space.com that he had never seen a “vortex” like the one that happened.