Scientists Discover How Solar Wind Works

Solar wind, which comes off the sun, is spewed throughout the solar system and far beyond. This “wind” is unleashed from powerful magnetic waves in electrically charged gas around the sun. Solar winds are quite powerful. They can disrupt satellite communications, throw off an electrical power grid, or even destroy the earth’s atmosphere if enough energy was released. Fortunately we have the earth’s magnetic field to shield us from solar wind, solar flares, and other such events.

What caused solar wind has baffled scientists for decades. A Japanese satellite named Hinode has been orbiting the earth, and has discovered what causes the wind to move.
Solar wind is a stream of electrically charged gas (mostly hydrogen) that’s blown outward from the sun at about 1 million mph. So-Called “Alfven” waves are magnetic waves that ripple through the plasma in the sun’s atmosphere. These waves transfer energy from the sun’s surface to the solar wind in the atmosphere. The end result is an incredibly strong and fast electrically charged gas that is released outwards from the sun in all directions.

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