The Sun-Earth Connection
By: Zahaan Eswani
Solar wind is a stream of energized charge particles mostly high energy electrons and protons, flowing away from the sun through the solar system at an average speeds of a 400 as high as 900 kilometers a second (it is capable of reaching speeds three times faster) and at a temperature of 1,000,000° Celsius.
Solar wind contains about the same number of electrons and protons, along with a few heavier ions. Particles in the solar wind from the sun’s surface could travel a up to from Knoxville to Memphis in less than two seconds!
For those seeking Solar wind is caused by the corona (which is the layer of the sun that we see) expanding into space.
The solar wind is what blows the tails of comets back away from the bodies of comets as they go through the solar system.
Effects of Solar Wind
on the Earth
Solar wind can disrupt communications, navigation systems, and satellites. Solar wind activity can also cause power outages, such as the extensive Canadian a blackout in 1989. The impact of solar wind on earth’s magnetic field causes several events to happen. One of these events is called bow shock. Another event caused by a solar wind is the ring current.
Auroras, (also commonly referred to as the northern and southern lights) are luminous atmospheric phenomenons that generally appear as bright colorful bands of light. Auroras are believed to be caused by high charged energy particles from solar winds that are trapped to within the atmospheric and magnetic field of earth. Auroras, both the northern and southern lights, can most frequently and easily be seen during the winter months within a 2500 km radius of the northern and southern magnetic poles.
Aurora is the name given to ghostly lights that appear in the sky towards the polar regions. In the north, they are called aurora borealis (northern lights). In the south, they are called...