Mystery of ‘slow’ solar wind unveiled by Solar Orbiter mission | Science & Technology

Scientists have come a step closer to identifying the mysterious origins of the ‘slow’ solar wind, using data collected during the Solar Orbiter spacecraft’s first close journey to the Sun.

Solar wind, which can travel at hundreds of kilometres per second, has fascinated scientists for years, and new research published in Nature Astronomy, is finally shedding light on how it forms.

Solar wind describes the continuous outflow of charged plasma particles from the Sun into space — with wind travelling at over 500km per second known as ‘fast’ and under 500km per second described as ‘slow’.

When this wind hits the Earth’s atmosphere it can result in the stunning aurora we know as the Northern Lights. But when larger quantities of plasma are released, in the form of a coronal mass ejection, it can also be hazardous, causing significant damage to satellites and communications systems.

Despite decades of observations, the sources and mechanisms that release, accelerate and transport solar wind plasma away from the Sun and into our solar system are not well understood — particularly the slow solar wind.

In 2020 the European Space Agency (ESA), with support from NASA, launched the Solar Orbiter mission. As well as capturing the closest and most detailed images of the Sun ever taken, one of the mission’s main aims is to measure and link the solar wind back to its area of origin on the Sun’s surface.

Described as ‘the most complex scientific laboratory ever to have been sent to the Sun’, there are ten different scientific instruments onboard Solar Orbiter — some in situ to collect and analyse samples of the solar wind as it passes the spacecraft, and other remote sensing instruments designed to capture high quality images of activity at the Sun’s surface.

By combining photographic and instrumental data, scientists have for the first time been able to identify more clearly where the slow solar wind originates. This has helped them to establish how it is able to leave…


We use income earning auto affiliate links. More on Sponsored links.
Ad Amazon : The reality of UFOs and extraterrestrials is here for those with the courage to examine it. We are not alone! We are only one of many different humanoids in a universe teeming with other intelligent life?

Ad Amazon : Books UFO
Ad Amazon : Binoculars
Ad Amazon : Telescopes

Related Posts

AIR launches cargo version of flagship AIR ONE eVTOL | eVTOL

Airline Industry on Track to Achieve New Heights with Nearly Five Billion Flights and $1 Trillion in Revenue This Year | Airlines

Learn how the global airline companies expand operations in Indian travel market – Travel And Tour World | Airlines

EHang completes eVTOL demo in Saudi Arabia | eVTOL

Global airlines bet on India travel boom | Airlines

India, US working for training Isro astronauts at Nasa’s Johnson Space Center | India News | Space

Is American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) the Best Airline Stock to Buy for Long Term? | Airline Industry

Air Incheon Emerges as Preferred Bidder for Asiana Airlines’ Cargo Business | Airlines

Actura New Zealand collapse: Parents may have lost million of dollars after school space trip cancelled | Space

U.S. Navy Rescues Crew of Stricken Cargo Ship Attacked by Houthis | Aviation

Pentagon backs France’s supply of Mirage 2000s to Ukraine | Airlines

KLM Boeing 787 returns to Tokyo after windshield cracks | Airlines

Norwegian F-35 To Fly Using Biofuel By The End of The Year | Aviation

Women Are Better Than Men At One More Thing: Space Exploration | Space

Globetrotting NASA Research Model Increases Accuracy | Space

Eyes On Mediterranean And Black Sea: U.S. Navy MQ-4Cs Expand Operations In The 6th Fleet Area Of Responsibility | Aviation

Astroscale’s space junk inspection satellite snaps a close-up photo of a discarded rocket stage | Space

Investigating the origins of the crab nebula | Science & Technology

NASA Awards Contract for Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory Operations | Space

TechCrunch Space: A new era for human spaceflight research | Space