The Solar Wind is a stream of charged particles released from the upper atmosphere of a star, called the corona.
This plasma, or stream of charged particles, consists of mostly electrons, protons and alpha particles with kinetic energy between 0.5 and 10 keV. Embedded within the solar-wind plasma is the interplanetary magnetic field. The solar wind varies in density, temperature and speed over time and over solar latitude and longitude. Its particles can escape the Sun's gravity because of their high energy resulting from the high temperature of the corona, which in turn is a result of the coronal magnetic field.
At a distance of more than a few solar radii from a star, the solar wind is supersonic and reaches speeds of 250 to 750 kilometers per second. The flow of the solar wind is no longer supersonic at the termination shock.
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History & Background (Dossier)
Devices Known to Use the Solar Wind
- Solar Sail AKA Light Sail AKA Photon Sail
- Electric Sail AKA Electric Solar Wind Sail AKA E-sail
- Magnetic Sail AKA Magsail
References & Contributors (Sources)
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