After being battered by solar storms, Earth’s thermosphere reaches its highest temperature in twenty years.

After being battered by solar storms, Earth’s thermosphere reaches its highest temperature in twenty years.

After absorbing energy from this year’s geomagnetic storms, the thermosphere of Earth recently reached its highest temperature in nearly 20 years. Experts warn that as the sun’s activity increases, the temperature in the second-highest layer of the atmosphere will likely continue to rise over the next few years, which could have an effect on satellites orbiting the Earth.

According to NASA, the thermosphere stretches from the top of the mesosphere, which is approximately 53 miles (85 kilometers) above the ground, to the bottom of the exosphere, which starts approximately 372 miles (600 kilometers) above the ground. Space is beyond the exosphere.

NASA has used carbon dioxide and nitric oxide molecules’ infrared radiation to measure the temperature of the thermosphere for over 21 years. The Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI), which is measured in terawatts, or TW, is created by scientists by converting data gathered by NASA’s Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics, and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite. One trillion watts is equal to one TW.)

Martin Mlynczak, a leading researcher on the TIMED mission at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia and the creator of the TCI, told Live Science that the TCI value reached its highest point on March 10 at 0.24 TW. The TCI was at its highest point on December 28, 2003. The temperature spike data have been submitted to a journal, but no peer review has been conducted yet.)

Related: Ten solar storms that blew us away in 2022 The temperature spike was caused by three geomagnetic storms in January and February. These storms are major disturbances to the Earth’s magnetic field that are triggered by chunks of fast-moving magnetized plasma, which are called coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and less frequently by streams of highly charged particles, which are called solar wind, which are both ejected by the sun.

Mlynczak stated, “These’storms’ deposit their energy in the thermosphere and cause it to heat up.” The thermosphere emits more infrared radiation from nitric oxide and carbon dioxide as a result of the increased temperature.” He went on to say that, normally, infrared emissions cool the thermosphere after a storm, but when two storms come back together, the temperature stays high.

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