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solar wind


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General term for the stream of high-energy particles (mainly protons, electrons, and alpha particles) emitted by the Sun. The particles have velocities of hundreds of kilometres per second and ‘wind’ strength is greatest during periods of maximum solar activity. In the neighbourhood of the Earth the solar wind has velocities in the range of 300–500km/sec and an average density of 107 ions/m3. See also cosmic radiation.


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