The first ever space hurricane has been found by scientists above the North Pole.
They say it rained electrons instead of water and lasted for nearly eight hours before it broke down.
The hurricane, observed by satellites in the Earth's upper atmosphere, also span in an anticlockwise direction.
Researchers confirmed its existence after analysing an usual 600mile-wide swirling mass of plasma – ionised gas – high above the planet.
They say the hurricanes – which had not been detected before – are likely to cause important space weather effects and disruption to GPS systems.
This includes increased satellite drag and disturbances in high frequency radio communications.
Increased errors in over-the-horizon radar location, satellite navigation and communication systems would also be caused by them, according to the experts.
A team of scientists, led by Shandong University in China, analysed observations made by satellites in August 2014.
They created a 3D image of the hurricane in the Earth's ionosphere – the area where the planet's atmosphere meets outer space – and reproduced its main features.
Professor Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading, said they might happen widely at planets and moons with magnetic fields and plasma.
He said: "Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible.
"Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth's upper atmosphere.
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"Plasma and magnetic fields in the atmosphere of planets exist throughout the universe, so the findings suggest space hurricanes should be a widespread phenomena."
The space hurricane, which occurred during a period of low geomagnetic activity, was found to share many features with hurricanes in the Earth's lower atmosphere.
This included a quiet centre, multiple spiral arms and widespread circulation.
The scientists said the hurricanes open a rapid energy transfer channel from space to the ionosphere and thermosphere.
They claim the process may also be important for the interaction between interstellar winds and other solar systems throughout the universe.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
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