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

White paper on critical materials, green energy and geopolitics

With its Green Deal, the European Union has set itself much-needed ambitious climate goals. But the energy crisis and geopolitical tensions are making these difficult to achieve. Seven researchers from the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus ...

Scientists identify a possible source for Charon's red cap

Southwest Research Institute scientists combined data from NASA's New Horizons mission with novel laboratory experiments and exospheric modeling to reveal the likely composition of the red cap on Pluto's moon Charon and how ...

BepiColombo lines up for second Mercury flyby

The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission is gearing up for its second close flyby of Mercury on 23 June. ESA's spacecraft operation team is guiding BepiColombo through six gravity assists of the planet before entering orbit around ...

Solar wind a major driver of atmospheric sodium at Mercury

No object in the solar system experiences the sun's solar wind more powerfully than Mercury. The planet's magnetic field deflects the sun's stream of electrically charged particles at a distance of only 1,000 kilometers from ...

The sun as you've never seen it before

Powerful flares, breathtaking views across the solar poles, and a curious solar "hedgehog" are among the haul of spectacular images, movies and data returned by Solar Orbiter from its first close approach to the sun. Although ...

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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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