Related topics: magnetic field · nasa · spacecraft · sun · solar system

Tail without a comet: The dusty remains of Comet ATLAS

A serendipitous flythrough of the tail of a disintegrated comet has offered scientists a unique opportunity to study these remarkable structures, in new research presented today at the National Astronomy Meeting 2021.

Scientists propose source of unexplained solar jets

Nothing seems more familiar than the sun in the sky. But mysterious swirls, jets, and flashes of powerful light that scientists cannot explain occur in the sun's outer atmosphere all the time. Now, researchers at the U.S. ...

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Solar wind

The solar wind is a stream of charged particles—a plasma—ejected from the upper atmosphere of the sun. It consists mostly of electrons and protons with energies of about 1 keV. The stream of particles varies in temperature and speed with the passage of time. These particles are able to escape the sun's gravity, in part because of the high temperature of the corona, but also because of high kinetic energy that particles gain through a process that is not well-understood.

The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a vast bubble in the interstellar medium surrounding the solar system. Other phenomena include geomagnetic storms that can knock out power grids on Earth, the aurorae such as the Northern Lights, and the plasma tails of comets that always point away from the sun.

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