|Main Entry:||bow shock|
|Part of Speech:||n|
|Definition:||a supersonic shock wave created when a solar wind collides with another medium, such as a planet's magnetic field|
|Example:||Bow shock is quite similar to the shock forming ahead of the wing of a supersonic airplane.|
|Etymology:||patterned on bow wave, which a boat makes in the water due to the motion of the boat in the water|
progressive disturbance propagated through a fluid such as water or air as the result of displacement by the foremost point of an object moving through it at a speed greater than the speed of a wave moving across the water. Viewed from above, the crest of the bow wave of a moving ship is V-shaped; the angle of the V is determined by the relative speeds of the ship and of the propagation of waves in the water.In three-dimensional space-for example, when describing the wave produced by a plane flying at supersonic speed-the bow wave is conical in shape. In this case an observer on the ground experiences a sonic boom when the bow wave passes. See also wave motion.
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