Latest Solar wind Stories

Image 1 - New 'Alien' Particles Have Entered Our Solar System
2012-01-31 13:59:55

[ Watch the Video ] Researchers have measured neutral "alien" particles that have entered our solar system from interstellar space. The team used NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft to find the neutral particles, which make up about half the material outside the heliosphere. The heliosphere is the bubble in which our Sun and planets reside and is formed by the interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium. Electrically charged particles cannot...

Comet Corpses In The Solar Wind
2012-01-21 04:13:51

[ Watch the Video ] A paper published in the Jan. 20th issue of Science raises an intriguing new possibility for astronomers: unearthing comet corpses in the solar wind.  The new research is based on dramatic images of a comet disintegrating in the sun's atmosphere last July. Comet Lovejoy grabbed headlines in Dec. 2011 when it plunged into the sun's atmosphere and emerged again relatively intact.  But it was not the first comet to graze the sun. Last summer a smaller comet...

Comet Survives Close Encounter With Our Sun
2011-12-18 06:18:30

[ Watch the Video ] On December 16, an armada of spacecraft witnessed something that many experts thought impossible.  Comet Lovejoy flew through the hot atmosphere of the sun and emerged intact. "It's absolutely astounding," says Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC.  "I did not think the comet's icy core was big enough to survive plunging through the several million degree solar corona for close to an hour, but Comet Lovejoy is still with us." The...

Image 1 - Moon 'Sandblasted' By Solar Storms
2011-12-07 04:25:36

Solar storms and associated Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) can significantly erode the lunar surface according to a new set of computer simulations by NASA scientists. In addition to removing a surprisingly large amount of material from the lunar surface, this could be a major method of atmospheric loss for planets like Mars that are unprotected by a global magnetic field. The research is being led by Rosemary Killen at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., as part of the...

2011-12-05 12:38:08

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region between our solar system and interstellar space. Data obtained from Voyager over the last year reveal this new region to be a kind of cosmic purgatory. In it, the wind of charged particles streaming out from our sun has calmed, our solar system's magnetic field has piled up, and higher-energy particles from inside our solar system appear to be leaking out into interstellar space. "Voyager tells us now that we're in a stagnation...

Image 1 - Cluster Reveals Earth's Bow Shock Is Remarkably Thin
2011-11-17 05:07:47

A new study based on data from ESA's Cluster mission has revealed that the bow shock formed by the solar wind as it encounters Earth's magnetic field is remarkably thin: it measures only 17 kilometers across. Thin astrophysical shocks such as this are candidate sites for early phases of particle acceleration. The finding thus sheds new light on the much debated issue of particle injection in the context of cosmic ray acceleration. Most baryonic matter in the Universe consists of charged...

2011-11-15 19:20:54

Temperature and energy equipartition in cosmic plasmas explained Why the temperatures in the solar wind are almost the same in certain directions, and why different energy densities are practically identical, was until now not clear. With a new approach to calculating instability criteria for plasmas, Bochum researchers lead by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schlickeiser (Chair for Theoretical Physics IV) have solved both problems at once. They were the first to incorporate the effects of collisions...

FASTSAT Paints Detailed View Of Region Near Earth
2011-11-15 04:17:57

Space around Earth is anything but a barren vacuum. The area seethes with electric and magnetic fields that change constantly. Charged particles flow through, moving energy around, creating electric currents, and producing the aurora. Many of these particles stream in from the solar wind, starting out 93 million miles away on the surface of the sun. But some areas are dominated by particles of a more local source: Earth's atmosphere. These are the particles being watched by FASTSAT's...

Latest Solar wind Reference Libraries

Solar Physics
2012-05-02 19:16:53

Solar Physics is a journal for solar and solar-stellar research and the study of solar terrestrial physics. Founded in 1967 by solar physicist Cornelis de Jager and publisher D. Reidel, the journal treats all aspects of solar physics, ranging from the internal structure of the Sun and its evolution, to outer corona and solar wind in interplanetary space. Solar Physics has four more than forty years been the principal journal for publications of fundamental research on the Sun. It is...

Ring Current
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Ring Current -- A ring current is an electric current carried by charged particles trapped in a planet's magnetosphere. It is caused by the longitudinal drift of energetic (10-200 keV) particles. Earth's Ring Current Earth's ring current is responsible for geomagnetic storms. The ring current system consists of a band, at a distance of 3-5 RE(1), which lies in the equatorial plane and circulates clockwise around the Earth (when viewed from the north). The particles of this region...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Heliopause -- The heliopause is the boundary where our Sun's solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium. The solar wind blows a "bubble" in the interstellar medium (the rareified hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the galaxy). The point where the solar wind's strength is no longer great enough to push back the interstellar medium is known as the heliopause, and is often considered to be the outer "border" of the solar system. The distance to the heliopause is not precisely...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Corona -- The corona is the luminous "atmosphere" of the Sun extending millions of kilometers into space, most easily seen during a total solar eclipse. An interesting feature of the corona is the fact that it is much hotter than the visible "surface" of the Sun; the photosphere is approximately 6000°C compared to the corona at over one million °C. The corona is much less dense than the photosphere, however, and so produces less light. The exact mechanism by which the corona is...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Aurora -- The Polar Aurora are natural displays of light in the sky that can be seen with the unaided eye only at night. An auroral display in the Northern Hemisphere is called the aurora borealis, or the northern lights; in the Southern Hemisphere it is called the aurora australis. Auroras are the most visible effect of the sun's activity on the earth's atmosphere. The beautiful and often eerie curtains of light in the night time sky have been observed by people for millennia. An aurora...

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Word of the Day
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.