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bow shock

[bou] /baʊ/
noun, Astronomy.
the shock front along which the solar wind encounters a planet's magnetic field.
Origin of bow shock
First recorded in 1945-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Contemporary definitions for bow shock

a supersonic shock wave created when a solar wind collides with another medium, such as a planet's magnetic field


Bow shock is quite similar to the shock forming ahead of the wing of a supersonic airplane.

Word Origin

patterned on bow wave, which a boat makes in the water due to the motion of the boat in the water's 21st Century Lexicon
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