Solar Wind

23 Jan, 2020 520 Astronomy

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the flow of particles from the outer region of the Sun which we observe in the Northern and Southern Lights, interacting with Earth’s magnetosphere, and in comet tails that stream away from the Sun regardless of their own direction. One way of defining the boundary of the solar system is where the pressure from the solar wind is balanced by that from the region between the stars, the interstellar medium. Its existence was suggested from the C19th and Eugene Parker developed the theory of it in the 1950s and it has been examined and tested by a series of probes in C20th up to today, with more planned.

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  • Andrew Coates 3 episodes
    Professor of Physics and Deputy Director in charge of the Solar System at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
  • Helen Mason OBE No other episodes
    Reader in Solar Physics at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Fellow at St Edmund's College
  • Tim Horbury No other episodes
    Professor of Physics at Imperial College London

Reading list

  • Basic Space Plasma Physics
    Wolfgang Baumjohann and Rudolf A. Treumann (Imperial College Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • Our Explosive Sun: A Visual Feast of Our Source of Light and Life
    Pal Brekke (Springer, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Sun Kings: The Unexpected Tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of How Modern Astronomy Began
    Stuart Clark (Princeton University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Physics of Solar System Plasmas
    Thomas E. Cravens (Cambridge University Press, 1997) Google Books →
  • The Sun
    Leon Golub and Jay M. Pasachoff (Reaktion Books, 2017) Google Books →
  • 15 Million Degrees: A Journey to the Centre of the Sun
    Lucie Green (Penguin, 2016) Google Books →
  • Introduction to Space Physics
    Margaret G. Kivelson and Christopher T. Russell (Cambridge University Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • Sun, Earth and Sky
    Kenneth R. Lang (Springer, 1995) Google Books →
  • Basics of the Solar Wind
    Nicole Meyer-Vernet (Cambridge University Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Guide to the Sun
    Kenneth J. H. Phillips (Cambridge University Press, 1992) Google Books →
  • Space Physics: An Introduction
    C. T. Russell, J. G. Luhmann and R. J. Strangeway (Cambridge University Press, 2016) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 520 (Astronomy & allied sciences)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, the solar wind is matter, blown from the sun out into the whole solar system at up to 2 million miles per hour.