Deadliest Space Weather: New Series Premieres on The Weather Channel

Close-up of Jupiter's Great Red Spot as seen by a Voyager spacecraft.
Close-up of Jupiter's Great Red Spot as seen by a Voyager spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Some of the universe's most extreme tempests, cyclones and rainstorms are visualized in stunning form in a new series premiering this week on The Weather Channel.

"Deadliest Space Weather," a six-part series, begins Thursday (Jan. 10) at 9 p.m. EST (8 p.m. CST).

The series investigates wild weather systems throughout our solar system, such as violent winds on Saturn, dust storms on Mars, and acid rain on Venus that could eat through steel. One planet has lightning bolts 10,000 times more powerful than any on Earth.

A preview clip of the series details Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the largest storm in the solar system, where winds can reach 400 miles per hour (640 kilometers per hour).

What would happen if such a storm were to arise on Earth, where no hurricane has ever had winds surpassing 200 mph (320 kph)?

"Hurricanes on Earth already do extensive damage," University of California, Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko says in the series. "Well, think of one with 400-mile-an-hour winds. If you double the speed, that's actually four times the energy of these swirling particles. It would really cause a lot of damage."

That kind of tempest would qualify as a Category 20 hurricane on Earth, experts said.

Each week, the show will profile another amazing instance of jaw-dropping space weather, and then describe, in terrifying detail, what such climatic tantrums could do on our own planet.

"Exploring these unique weather phenomena in our solar system is a fascinating journey, but one understands the true magnitude of these galactic storms so much more when they are theoretically placed into the familiar context of life on Earth," Michael Dingley, senior vice president of content and development at The Weather Channel, said in a statement.

For the full line-up on The Weather Channel's Deadliest Space Weather series, visit here.

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Clara Moskowitz
Assistant Managing Editor

Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.