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.
Carried Away: 9 Words About WindRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Why Do We Have Leap Year?Even though the standard calendar year is 365 days, the Earth actually takes 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds to go completely around the sun. (This is called a solar year.) In order to keep the calendar cycle synchronized with the seasons, one extra day is (usually) added every four years as February 29th. The Julian calendar (established by Julius Caesar in …
Origin of solar wind
First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for solar wind
/ (wɪnd) /
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 displaysSee also Van Allen belt, magnetosphere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Science definitions for 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Culture definitions for solar wind
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.