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Solar Wind's Effect on other Planets

  1. Jun 3, 2009 #1
    Solar Wind is composed of magnetically charged plasma ejected from the Sun at a high velocity. By the time it reaches Earth the parameters are:

    ______________Min_Avg___Max
    Flux (cm-2s-1)---1----3----100
    Velocity (km/s)--200-400---900
    Density (cm-3)--0.4--6.5---100
    Helium %-------- 0----5-----25
    B (nT)-----------0.2---6----80

    http://magbase.rssi.ru/REFMAN/SPPHTEXT/solarwind.html

    My question is what are the values for the above on other Planets? The plasma must spread out as it radiates from the Sun so some of the values will be larger on the inner two and the values for the outer Planets should be smaller. One exception is the Velocity should stay the same except when in contact with Planets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2009 #2

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    The solar wind is primarily electrons and protons. The magnetic fields are by virture of local currents, or the planets.

    This should get one started.

    Venus
    http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.edu/personnel/russell/papers/interact_solwind/
    http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.edu/personnel/russell/papers/interact_solwind/fig3.gif

    http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Venus_Express/SEM0G373R8F_0.html

    Venus-Solar Wind Interaction: Asymmetries and the Escape of O+ Ions
    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0603243

    Mars
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast31jan_1.htm [Broken]
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/21nov_plasmoids.htm [Broken]

    http://gse.gi.alaska.edu/recent/mars.html

    Mars' magnetism and its interaction with the solar wind By Daniel Winterhalter, M. H. Acuña, Alexander

    Jupiter
    http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0202/28jupiter/
    http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0604/05auroras/

    http://books.google.com/books?id=8GcGRXlmxWsC&pg=PA649&lpg=PA649

    http://www2.le.ac.uk/ebulletin/news/press-releases/2000-2009/2006/04/nparticle-qzb-j89-jmd

    http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/plasma-wave/tutorial/voyager1/jupiter/bowshock/text.html

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/education/outerplanets/giantplanets_magnetospheres.php


    Saturn
    http://caps.space.swri.edu/caps/publications/saturn_aurora_jgr_rev4b.pdf

    http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU2008/09973/EGU2008-A-09973.pdf

    Mission to Saturn - http://books.google.com/books?id=O0L9pnYNnGwC&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43

    --------------------
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/sw_dials.html [Broken]

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SolarWind.shtml

    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/sun/wind.html

    http://pluto.space.swri.edu/image/glossary/solar_wind.html


    Encyclopedia of the solar system By Lucy-Ann Adams McFadden, Paul Robert Weissman, Torrence V. Johnson
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jun 7, 2009 #3
    Well the density decreases with the inverse square of the radial distance. The Wind also loses energy as it climbs out of the Sun's gravity well, decreasing the flux passing through a unit area per unit time. Eventually the Wind slams into the much slower Interstellar Wind and slows down, releasing energy. So if the Wind density is 5 protons/cm3 at Earth, then it's 0.2 /cm3 at Jupiter's orbit and just 0.05 /cm3 at Saturn, then the flux is the density times the Wind speed at that radial distance. Travelling from Earth's orbit (1 AU) to Saturn's (10 AU) is an energy loss of GMmp*(1/R1 - 1/R2) for the protons of the wind. If the Wind is moving at 400 km/s, then the proton kinetic energy at Earth is 1/2*mp*(400,000 m/s)2 ~ 8 x 1010 J/kg. Thus comparing the two, the gravity loss is 800 MJ/kg, about 1%, so the speed at Saturn is 99.5% of what it is at Earth and so the flux is about 0.00995 of the flux at Earth.

    But the density and speed vary considerably depending on energy releasing events on the Sun's 'surface' like Coronal Mass Ejections, magnetic reconnection and solar flares.
     
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