Earth's Upper Atmosphere Suffers Record Collapse

Earth's Upper Atmosphere Suffers Record Collapse

Well, this doesn't sound good: NASA just announced that the Earth's thermosphere, an upper layer of the atmosphere, collapsed. It's the biggest contraction in 43 years and scientists have no idea what's going on. I don't feel safe anymore.

John Emmert, lead author of the paper that announced the finding, reassures all of us with:

"Something is going on that we do not understand"

Apparently, thermosphere collapses do happen every so often, especially during periods of solar inactivity. But the magnitude of the collapse is what puzzles scientists, since it's two to three times greater than any sort of explainable activity.

The thermosphere is pretty far away from us, closer to where Earth meets space, so it's not exactly time to panic but when science can't explain it, I can't help myself. The world is so ending in 2012. [Space via MSNBC]