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New Horizons: A Slowing Solar Wind Far from Earth

4 Dec 2019, 19:13 UTC
New Horizons: A Slowing Solar Wind Far from Earth NASA

It should be evident why getting information about the solar wind is useful for future deep space missions. Concepts like the electric sail, recently discussed in these pages, and various forms of magnetic sail using superconductors all rely on hitching a ride on this fast-moving stream of particles and magnetic fields emanating from the Sun. A key problem has been tracking the solar wind’s behavior in space through changing solar cycles as we get to increasingly large distances from the Sun, but fortunately we do have a few assets at system’s edge.

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