Tornadoes are well known to cause plenty of havoc on Earth, but who would've guessed that they were also hitting other areas of our solar system? A recent video released from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory shows a speeded-up version of a 38-hour tornadic incident on the sun, an example of potentially dangerous "space weather."
Throughout the one-minute clip, multiple tornadoes can be seen making contact with the sun. According to Space.com’s YouTube page, the footage captured June 3-4 shows plasma moving across the sun’s surface, which is also commonly referred to as “sun tornadoes.”
At a Space Weather Enterprise Forum conference on June 4 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Auditorium and Science Center in Silver Spring, Md., NASA chief Charles Bolden said space weather can be equally as devastating as the weather on Earth. "This conference shines a spotlight on another naturally occurring phenomenon that can be just as punishing as a tornado: space weather," Bolden told Space.com.
He said strong solar storms in space can interfere with communication satellites aimed at our planet, and NASA has recently joined with the United Nations in an effort to better understand the impact of space storms on Earth.
“Space weather is a problem that crosses all borders and demands input from our international counterparts," he said. “We have shown how, working as a team, we can save lives when hurricanes and tornadoes strike here on Earth. I am confident we can be just as effective working together to protect our people, our critical infrastructures, and our planet from the dangers of space weather.”