solar wind


solar wind
an emanation from the sun's corona consisting of a flow of charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, that interacts with the magnetic field of the earth and other planetary bodies.
[1955-60]

* * *

Flux of particles, chiefly protons, electrons, and helium nuclei accelerated by the hot solar corona's high temperatures to speeds high enough to allow them to escape the Sun.

Solar flares increase its intensity. The solar wind deflects planets' magnetospheres and the ion tails of comets away from the Sun. The uninterrupted portion of the solar wind continues to travel to a distance of about 20 astronomical units, where it cools and eventually diffuses into interstellar space. See also heliopause.

* * *

      flux of particles, chiefly protons and electrons together with nuclei of heavier elements in smaller numbers, that are accelerated by the high temperatures of the solar corona, or outer region of the Sun, to velocities large enough to allow them to escape from the Sun's gravitational field. The solar wind is responsible for deflecting both the tail of the Earth's magnetosphere and the tails of comets away from the Sun. At a distance of one astronomical unit (the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun, or about 150,000,000 km), during a relatively quiet period, the wind contains approximately 1 to 10 protons per cubic centimetre moving outward from the Sun at velocities of 350 to 700 km (about 220 to 440 miles) per second; this creates a positive ion flux of 108 to 109 ions per square centimetre per second, each ion having an energy equal to at least 15 electron volts. During solar flares (solar flare), the proton velocity, flux, plasma temperature, and associated turbulence increase substantially.

      When the solar wind encounters the Earth's (Earth) magnetic field, a shock wave results, the nature of which is not fully understood. The portion of the solar wind that does not interact with the Earth or the other planets continues to travel to a distance of approximately 20 astronomical units, at which point it cools and eventually diffuses into galactic space.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • solar wind — n. streams of ionized gas particles constantly emitted by the sun in all directions at speeds of c. 300 to 1,000 km per second ( c. 186 to 620 mi per second): cf. STELLAR WIND …   English World dictionary

  • Solar wind — For other uses, see Solar wind (disambiguation). The solar wind is a stream of charged particles ejected from the upper atmosphere of the Sun. It mostly consists of electrons and protons with energies usually between 1.5 and 10 keV. The stream of …   Wikipedia

  • Solar Wind —    A flow of plasma leaving the Sun. Solar Sails can be pushed by this wind and help propel spaceships. The sails are huge and offer very slow acceleration. The average velocity of the Solar Wind is almost 350 kilometers (217 miles) per second.… …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • solar wind — Saulės vėjas statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. solar wind vok. Sonnenwind, m rus. солнечный ветер, m pranc. vent solaire, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • solar wind — noun The outflow of charged particles from the solar corona into space. Because of the high temperature of the particles of the corona, they are moving at speeds higher than the solar escape velocity …   Wiktionary

  • solar wind — noun the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun which permeates the solar system …   English new terms dictionary

  • solar wind — noun a stream of protons moving radially from the sun (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑solar radiation • Part Holonyms: ↑interplanetary medium • Substance Meronyms: ↑interplanetary gas …   Useful english dictionary

  • solar wind — so′lar wind′ n. astron. the radial outflow of charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, from the sun • Etymology: 1955–60 …   From formal English to slang

  • solar wind — /soʊlə ˈwɪnd/ (say sohluh wind) noun Astrophysics a stream of electrically charged particles blown constantly from the sun, occasionally gusting as the result of space storms and dumping massive amounts of energy into earth s magnetic field …   Australian English dictionary

  • solar wind — noun Date: 1958 plasma continuously ejected from the sun s surface into and through interplanetary space …   New Collegiate Dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.