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Solar wind

  1. Oct 3, 2004 #1
    what is solar wind????? is it carrying particles? what is its effect to our planet,the Earth?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2004 #2
    Northern lights.
  4. Oct 6, 2004 #3


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    Solar Wind is a constant flow of charged particles being ejected into space by the Sun. I use the word "constant" in the sence that it is always happening, not to imply that it is invariable. In fact, the amount of "stuff" being blown out in all directions fluctuates quite a bit. During periods of increased Solar activity, like solar flares and sunspots and the like, solar wind "gusts". Thses gusts are directional; eminating from the Solar event that spawned them, and when that event is on the same side of the Sun as we are, we get radio interference, satelites take damage (sattelites need shielding to survive and keep functioning in space), and sometimes power outages can occur. Also, as has been mentioned, Northern lights can result.

    The Earth's magnetic field protects us from most of the radiation, here on the ground, because the particles are charged and therefore are effected by the magnetic force. However, at the poles the lines of the magnetic field come nearly strait down to the ground, and particles deflected by the field can "ride" the lines of magnetic force down through the atmosphere. When these particles reach the ionosphere, which already has a charge, the interaction of charged particles with charged gas forms a plasma, like inside a flourescent light.
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