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Friday, October 26, 2012

Interplanteray Medium

Along with light,the Sun radiates a continuous stream of charged particles (a plasma) known as the solar wind.this stream of particles spreads outwards at roughly 1.5 million kilometers per hour,creating a tenuous atmosphere (the heliosphere)that meats the Solar system out to at least 100 AU.This is known as the interplanetary medium.the Sun's 11-year sunspot cycle and frequent solar flares and coronal mass ejections disturb the heliosphere,creating space weather.The Sun's rotating magnetic field acts on the interplanetary medium to create the heliosphere current sheet,the largest structure in the solar system.Earth's magnet field protects it's atmosphere from interacting with the solar wind.Venus and Mars do not have magnetic fields,and the solar wind causes their atmosphere to gradually bleed away into space.the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's magnetic field creates the seen near the magnetic poles..

Cosmic rays originate outside the solar system.The heliosphere partially shields the Solar system,and planetary magnetic fields (for planets which have them)also provide some protection.The density of cosmic rays in the interstellar medium and the strength of the Sun's magnetic field change on very long time scales,so the level of cosmic radiation in the solar system varies,though by how much is unknown..
The interplanetary medium is home to at least two dislike regions of cosmic dust.the first,the zodiacal dust cloud,lies in the inner Solar system and cause zodiacal light.it was likely formed by collisions within the asteroid belt brought on by interactions with the planets.The second extends from about 10 AU to about 40 AU,and was probably created by similar collisions within the belt...

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