Solar wind enters Earth's magnetosphere
Date: 10 January 2010
This animation follows the solar wind as it travels from the Sun to the Earth, passing through the Earth's magnetic field (represented by orange lines). Where the solar wind's magnetic polarity is opposite that of the Earth's magnetic field, some electrically charged particles of the solar wind enter the Earth's magnetosphere through a fissure formed during the interconnection of the Sun and Earth's magnetic field lines. These particles flow down the field line and impact on the ionosphere creating a spot in the ultraviolet proton aurora about the size of the American state of California.
Last Update: 1 September 2019