Solar Wind News

Solar wind is a stream of charged particles (mainly electrons and protons) that are ejected from the upper atmosphere of the Sun, known as the corona. This stream of plasma flows outward through the solar system at speeds ranging from 300 to 800 kilometers per second. Solar wind plays a crucial role in shaping the heliosphere, the vast bubble-like region of space dominated by the solar magnetic field that extends well beyond the orbit of Pluto. The interaction between solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field causes phenomena such as the northern and southern lights (aurora borealis and aurora australis). Variations in solar wind can have significant effects on space weather, influencing satellite operations, communications systems, and power grids on Earth. Understanding solar wind is also important for planning future space missions, particularly those involving human travel to and from Mars, as it affects radiation levels in space.