Space Environment

Is there energy in space?

What is solar wind?

The solar wind is a stream of energized, charged particles, primarily electrons and protons, flowing outward from the Sun, through the solar system at speeds as high as 900 km/s and at a temperature of 1 million degrees (Celsius). It is made of plasma.

The Sun's corona, taken by the SOHO satellite with a special camera that blocks out light from the Sun's main disk. Courtesy of SOHO consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA."

The solar wind is caused by the hot solar corona, which is the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, expanding into space. The corona is the "rim" of the Sun that is visible to the naked eye during a solar eclipse.

The solar wind is what blows the tails of comets back away from the bodies of comets as they go through the solar system.

Comet Hale-Bopp. Photo Credit: A. Dimai and D. Ghirardo, (Col Druscie Obs.), AAC

What is a comet?
What is in space besides planets and stars?

What are stars made of?
What role does the Sun play in space missions like DS1's?
What's an electron?
What is plasma?
What does electrically charged mean?

What is a solar flare?
How do we know what's in space?