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Glossary term: Solar Wind

Also known as Stellar wind

Description: The solar wind is a stream of particles, primarily protons and electrons, flowing outwards from the Sun at up to 900 kilometers per second. The solar wind is essentially the hot solar corona expanding into interplanetary space. If the material carried by the solar wind reaches the surface of a planet, the radiation from it will cause a lot of damage to any life that may be present. Earth's magnetic field forms a protective shield and redirects these materials around the planet, so its particles do not reach the surface. The interaction between the Solar Wind and Earth's magnetic fields is the cause of aurorae close to the Earth's poles. The force of the winds extends the magnetic field, so it is greatly compressed inward on the bright side and expands on the dark side. All stars are thought to have winds like to the solar wind.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".