The solar wind is a stream of matter particles
ceaselessly ejected into space from the corona,
the outermost atmosphere of the Sun. The solar
wind is a kind of continuous plasma flow from the
interior of the sun with the speed of 20~ 800 km/s.
The flow of matter particles is released from the
coronal hole and mainly consists of hydrogen particles
and helium particles.
The solar wind can be divided into two types:
one continuously radiates out in a slower way and
with less particle content and is called "slow solar
wind". The other radiates out with a high concentration
of particles at a high speed when the sun is active.
This kind of solar wind is called "fast solar wind".
The fast solar wind has a great impact on the earth.
When it reaches the earth, it often causes large magnetic
storms and strong auroras, as well as ionosphere disturbance.
While the existence of solar wind provides us with important
clues to study the relationship between the sun and the earth.
Before the 19th century, this kind of situation had no serious
impact on human beings. But in the 20th century, it was found
that magnetic storms affected radio reception and all kinds of
electronic equipment. As people rely on more and more on these
devices, magnetic storms become more and more crucial.
For example, during a magnetic storm, radio and television
transmission would be interrupted, radar would not work and
the satellites would be affected as well.
When the solar wind passes over the earth, it
also changes the electromagnetic field causing
geomagnetic storms, ionospheric storms and
affecting communication, especially short-wave
Solar wind will also convey the strong elementary
charge to the power network and pipelines on the
ground, affecting the safety of transmission systems
of oil and gas.
The amount of radiation from a single solar wind
can easily reach what multiple x-rays have for a
person. It can also cause the decline in human
immunity, which is easy to cause diseases, and it
swings people's mood, resulting in even more car
accidents. Another problem that everyone will notice
is that when a solar storm occurs, the temperature
will increase significantly.
Astronomers studied the sun's flash more carefully
and found that in these eruptions hot hydrogen was
apparently ejected far away, some of which would be
ejected into space with the surmounting the great
gravitational pull of the sun. Protons are the nuclei
of hydrogen, so the sun is surrounded by a cloud of
protons and a small number of complex nuclei. In 1958,
American physicist John Parker called this up-welling
cloud of protons a "solar wind."
Most of the incoming protons will be pushed away by
the earth's own magnetic field when they reach the
earth. Still, some enter the atmosphere and cause
auroras and various phenomenon of electricity. A
catastrophic eruption of powerful proton clouds in
the direction of the earth will lead to the phenomenon
of "solar storm" phenomenon, when magnetic storm effect
can appear. This kind of "solar storm" is very powerful.
The solar wind provide the comets with their tails. When
a comet is close to the sun, dust and gas around the star
are blown backwards by the solar wind. This effect has also
been demonstrated on artificial satellites. A satellite as
big and light as Echo One would be obviously blown away from
its predetermined orbit by the solar wind.