10k degree atmospheric plasma jets, rivers of molten iron in the earth's core, and a switch in poles. The stuff of science fiction. Or link bait, or both.
For the first time, researchers have discovered supersonic plasma jets in Earth's upper atmosphere, and they're responsible for some pretty extreme conditions, including temperatures near 10,000°C (18,032°F).
These jets not only appear to be changing the chemical composition of Earth's ionosphere - they're actually pushing this atmospheric layer so far up, some of the planet's atmospheric materials are being leaked out into space.
Furthermore, Back in December, the ESA team announced that their Swam satellites had detected an accelerating river of molten iron some 3,000 km (1,864 miles) below the surface of Earth, under Alaska and Siberia.
They found that this 420-km-wide (260-mile) jet stream had tripled in speed in less than two decades, and is currently headed towards Europe.
Like the supersonic plasma jets that are zooming through our upper atmosphere, this fast-moving jet of molten iron is directly related to Earth's magnetic fields.
Differences in temperature, pressure, and composition within the outer core create movements and whirlpools in the liquid metal, and together with Earth's spin, they generate electric currents, which in turn produce magnetic fields.
Having now discovered Earth's outer core and upper atmosphere jets, researchers will be better equipped to predict what our magnetic field is going to do next, and that's important, because it looks like the North Pole is actually in the process of shifting as we speak.