In an interesting turn of events, NASA has recently warned that a long, extremely cold temperature will hit the space within months.
Scientists from spotted sunspot activity on sun’s surface being dropped so low that record low temperature can soon set in bringing a long, cold winter to hit space in months, creating a grim mini Ice Age.
“We see a cooling trend. High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold,” says lead researcher Martin Mlynczak.
The weather data came from SABER instrument, used for monitoring infrared emissions from carbon dioxide and nitric oxide (NO), on NASA’s TIMED satellite that measures changes in Earth’s atmosphere. The satellite discovered that the thermosphere, Earth’s upper atmosphere, is at present cooling and shrinking, wrote Daily Mail.
To keep track, the team created the ‘Thermosphere Climate Index’ (TCI). The number showed how many heat trapping molecules like carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are released to space. “SABER is currently measuring 33 billion Watts of infrared power from NO. That’s 10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle. It could set a record in a matter of months, said Mlynczak.
As per The Sun, solar minimum can improve the effects of space weather, disrupt communications and navigation, and also cause space junk to ‘hang around’, as per NASA. An increase in solar winds might also change the thermosphere’s chemistry resulting in more lightning and cloud formation, eventually affecting air travel and putting passengers and flight crews in additional danger.
NASA earlier calculated that the sun was to reach its solar minimum low point in 2019 or 2020. However, the researchers warn that the sunspots are vanishing faster than expected, with the current solar cycle coming to end sooner than predicted.
“We’re not there quite yet, but it could happen in a matter of months,” said Mlynczak.