(6) Solar Wind

About the Image: The sun flings out solar wind particles in much the same manner as a garden sprinkler throws out water droplets. The artist's drawing of the solar wind flow was provided courtesy of NASA.

Find out how hard the solar wind is blowing today.

Compare the solar wind and Earth's winds.

How does the density of the solar wind compare to the air we breath?

Basic Facts About the Solar Wind

The sun is flinging 1 million tons of matter out into space every second. If you add all this up over the course of a day, it's comparable to the mass of Utah's Great Salt Lake. And this happens every day, day after day, year after year.

This mass loss is called the solar wind. The solar wind is formed as the sun's topmost layer blows off into space carrying with it magnetic fields still attached to the sun. Gusts and disturbances form in the solar wind associated with violent events on the sun.

The gusting and blowing of the solar wind against the Earth's protective magnetic shield in space is responsible for spaceweather storms.

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