The Sunís domain

The Sunís domain

Fig. 15.8 . With its solar wind going out in all directions, the Sun blows a huge bubble within interstellar space called the heliosphere, with the Sun at its center and the planets inside. It is threaded by open magnetic fields that are connected to the Sun at one end, carried into space by the relentless solar wind on the other end, and twisted by the rotating Sun. Interstellar winds mold the heliosphere into a non-spherical teardrop shape, creating a bow shock (left) where interstellar forces encounter the solar wind. The heliosphere extends to about 100 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. (Courtesy of Thomas H. Zurbuchen.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University