solar wind

noun
an emanation from the sun's corona consisting of a flow of charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, that interacts with the magnetic field of the earth and other planetary bodies.

Origin:
1955–60

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World English Dictionary
solar wind (wɪnd)
 
n
Van Allen belt See also magnetosphere the constant stream of charged particles, esp protons and electrons, emitted by the sun at high velocities, its density and speed varying during periods of solar activity. It interacts with the earth's magnetic field, some of the particles being trapped by the magnetic lines of force, and causes auroral displays

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
solar wind  
A continuous stream of plasma ejected by the Sun, flowing outward from the corona. This plasma, which consists mostly of protons and electrons, has enough energy to escape the Sun's gravitational field at speeds ranging from about 300 to 800 km (186 to 496 mi) per second and averaging 1,610,000 km (1,000,000 mi) per hour, which allows the solar wind to reach Earth in about 3.9 days. The speed and intensity of the solar wind depends on magnetic activity at different regions of the Sun. The solar wind spreads out from the Sun in a pinwheel pattern as a result of the Sun's rotation, pushing back the interstellar medium to the boundary known as the heliopause. The tails of comets, which always extend away from the Sun regardless of the direction of the comet's motion, are a result of the impact of solar wind, which dislodges ice and other particles from the comet's surface. Similar winds flowing from other stars are called stellar winds. See also aurora.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

solar wind definition


A stream of particles (mostly protons) emitted by the sun and permeating the solar system.

Note: Particularly strong bursts of particles can penetrate the upper atmosphere and disrupt radio communications on Earth.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Your planet is being buffeted by solar wind-particles of protons and electrons
  that the sun spews into space.
In addition to these goodies, the solar wind carries light elements such as
  helium to the moon's surface and leaves them there.
There are all kinds of variations in the solar wind that could send such a
  spacecraft wildly off course.
The thinking is that the expanding atmosphere is interacting with the solar
  wind and being shaped into a tail.
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