Investigating the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind

In summary, the conversation discussed whether the Magnus effect works on the solar wind, with one person arguing that it does not due to the fluid nature of the wind and the flat shape of solar sails. However, another person mentioned that the effect may still occur in the heliosphere and could potentially impact planets. It was also noted that the pressure in the solar wind is mainly due to radiation, making the shape of the sail less important.
  • #1
d3mm
140
1
I can't find authorative sources on whether the magnus effect works on the solar wind.

I thought the solar wind was mostly particles, not a fluid medium, and therefore it would not.

I thought this was the reason for the flat nature of solar sails. If the solar wind acted like a fluid medium, solar sails ought to be aerofoils like boat sails or airplane wings.
 
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  • #2


First of all the Magnus effect should only work if we are not in the ballistic limit. The mean free path of the molecules is pressure dependent and I don't know what the pressure distribution is. But in interstellar medium hydrodynamic effects should not show until your sail is much larger than thousands of kilometres. You might find the pressure and thus the mean free path in the heliosphere somewhere on the web. The wikipedia article on the Magnus effect states that it probably has an effect on the planets. The solar wind is extremely fast, so some effect should be expected (it is also supersonic but I have no idea what that means).
 
  • #3


The dominant fraction of the pressure is radiation - catch it, reflect it or lose it, shape does not really matter. Solar wind is just a small bonus to the pressure.
 

1. What is the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind?

The Magnus Effect on Solar Wind is a phenomenon in which charged particles in the solar wind are deflected by a magnetic field, causing them to spiral around the field lines. This effect is caused by the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field.

2. How is the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind investigated?

The Magnus Effect on Solar Wind can be investigated through a combination of observational data and numerical simulations. Observational data can be collected using satellites and ground-based instruments, while numerical simulations use mathematical models to recreate and study the behavior of the solar wind.

3. What are the potential impacts of the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind?

The Magnus Effect on Solar Wind can have significant impacts on space weather, as it can influence the direction and intensity of the solar wind. This, in turn, can affect the Earth's magnetic field, leading to disruptions in satellite and communication systems, as well as auroral activity.

4. How does the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind relate to other space weather phenomena?

The Magnus Effect on Solar Wind is closely related to other space weather phenomena, such as coronal mass ejections and solar flares. These events can also affect the direction and intensity of the solar wind, and their interactions with the Earth's magnetic field can have similar impacts on space weather.

5. What are some potential applications of understanding the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind?

Understanding the Magnus Effect on Solar Wind can have practical applications in space weather forecasting and spacecraft operations. By studying this phenomenon, scientists can better predict and prepare for potential disruptions in satellite and communication systems caused by changes in the solar wind.

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