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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > Solar System > Solar Wind

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Back to Solar System   |   Back to Astrophysical Direction 

Solar Wind

A high wind of hydrogen blows all night and day through our solar system. It emanates from the Sun and rushes past the Earth at some 400 km per second and out into interstellar space. It sweeps like a broom gases that have evaporated from planets and meteoritic dust. The solar wind is responsible for the outer portions of the Van Allen radiation belts, for the aurora in the Earth's atmosphere, and for terrestrial magnetic storms, perhaps even the general weather patterns.

A most important function of the solar wind, which acts like an aura out as far as Saturn, (during the years of high solar activity, the sunspot cycle) is to push back cosmic ray particles coming from outside our solar system. The intensity of cosmic rays reaching the Earth is cut in half during the years of highest solar activity.

One way of looking at this phenomenon is that the Earth and the inner planets are wrapped in a cloak or aura of Solar particles for several years and thus shielded from information trying to reach us from deep space. As the Sunspot cycle ebbs and the aura withdraws, the cosmic rays once again penetrate in greater numbers into the inner solar system and to the Earth. There were sunspot minimums in 1964 and 1976.

Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine


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