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

Scientists develop inexpensive method to produce E-sail tethers

Thin metallic tethers for Coulomb drag devices that tow satellites and spacecraft can now be produced more easily than before. Scientists of the Finnish Meteorological Institute have developed a method to produce multi-wire ...

Mercury's 400 C heat may help it make its own ice

It is already hard to believe that there is ice on Mercury, where daytime temperatures reach 400 degrees Celsius, or 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Now an upcoming study says that the Vulcan heat on the planet closest to the sun ...

First Solar Orbiter instrument sends measurements

First measurements by a Solar Orbiter science instrument reached the ground on Thursday 13 February providing a confirmation to the international science teams that the magnetometer on board is in good health following a ...

Solar wind samples suggest new physics of massive solar ejections

A new study led by the University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa has helped refine understanding of the amount of hydrogen, helium and other elements present in violent outbursts from the Sun, and other types of solar "wind," ...

Solar Orbiter set to reveal Sun's secrets

The European Space Agency will embark upon one of its most ambitious projects to date Sunday when its Solar Orbiter probe launches from Florida's Cape Canaveral bound for the Sun.

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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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