New PDF release: An Introduction to Space Weather

By Mark Moldwin

ISBN-10: 0511394527

ISBN-13: 9780511394522

ISBN-10: 0521861497

ISBN-13: 9780521861496

One in every of first undergraduate textbooks on area climate designed for introductory house physics classes.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Space Weather

Example text

After the star has consumed all of its fuel by thermonuclear fusion, its outer layers collapse and cause a huge explosion that expels stellar material into space and causes shock waves to form. The explosion and shock waves then produce particles of very high energy. The shock waves continue to propagate away from the progenitor star (or the star that went supernova), continuously accelerating particles for many years after the explosion. Since cosmic rays are charged particles, their motion is deflected by galactic magnetic fields as they propagate through interstellar space.

At 220 km s−1 it takes approximately two hundred and fifty million (250 000 000) years to orbit the galaxy once. 5 billion year history, Earth has orbited the galaxy 18 times. So Earth is about 18 “galactic” years old. Beyond this bow shock is unperturbed ISM that extends out to the next stellar atmospheres. The closest star, Alpha Centauri, is about four light-years away (a light-year is the distance light travels in one year or about 10 trillion km). Of course, there is space weather around that star as well, but currently we do not know if Alpha Centauri has a planetary system, though most models of star formation suggest that a planetary disk can form out of the stellar nebula.

Motion is defined as the change in position of a body with respect to another body or to some reference frame (such as a room or Earth). It is often convenient to define a fixed reference frame (called an inertial reference frame) so that observers can describe to each other the motion of any object in a way that makes sense to both. The development of the concept of a reference frame is one of the great achievements of math and science. For example, you are probably reading this chapter sitting down.

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An Introduction to Space Weather by Mark Moldwin


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