The Solar Wind Is Swirly


Using ESA’s Cluster quartet of satellites as a space plasma microscope, scientists have zoomed in on the solar wind to reveal the finest detail yet, finding tiny turbulent swirls that could play a big role in heating it. Turbulence is highly complex and all around us, evident in water flowing from a tap, around an aircraft wing, in experimental fusion reactors on Earth, and also in space.

In the stream of charged particles emitted by the Sun – the solar wind – turbulence is thought to play a key part in maintaining its heat as it streams away and races across the Solar System. As the solar wind expands, it cools down, but to a much smaller extent than would be expected if the flow were smooth.

Full Story: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/The_solar_wind_is_swirly
Also: http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=8

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