Artwork of the magnetosphere of the Earth

Artwork of the magnetosphere of the Earth

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Credit: DAVID A. HARDY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Artwork showing the interaction between the Earth's magnetosphere (blue region) and the solar wind (yellow arrows). The solar wind is a stream of charged particles such as protons flowing outwards from the Sun. The Earth's outer magnetic field or magnetosphere is distorted by the wind, forming a bow-shaped shock front on the sunward side (left) and, on the opposite side, a magnetotail millions of kilometres long. Some of the particles entering the magnetosphere spiral down the magnetic field lines onto the poles, forming oval belts of aurorae. Other particles become trapped in two concentric, doughnut-shaped regions (pink) known as the Van Allen belts.

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Keywords: around earth, artwork, earth magnetosphere, earth science, illustration, magnetic field, magnetism, magnetosphere, magnetotail, sciences, solar wind, van allen belts, whole earth

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