Mapping solar winds

Two types of solar winds emanate from the sun: fast winds that travel at more than 700 kilometers per second, and slow winds that move at a mere 400 kilometers per second. As they pass by Earth on their way to the outer reaches of the heliosphere, these winds — composed of charged particles called plasma — can interact with the geomagnetic field and set off spectacular auroras. Now, a newly constructed solar map, published in a study in Nature Communications, has illuminated the sources and directions of the sun’s solar winds in greater detail than ever before.

 

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Mary Caperton Morton

Mary Caperton Morton

Morton (https://theblondecoyote.com/) is a freelance science and travel writer based in Big Sky, Mont., and an EARTH roving correspondent.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 06:00