The Sun-Earth System

This is actually the start of your journey.

Solar energy is transported to earth by radiation (light) and by particles of matter (solar wind). The radiation (called electromagnetic radiation) travels at the speed of light. The particles take longer to arrive at Earth. These particles, mostly hydrogen and helium atoms, drag with them some of the sun's magnetic field. The sun can be stormy at times, and produces powerful explosions called solar flares (radiation) and coronal mass ejections (particles). When these arrive at Earth they provide the energy to drive many different kinds of phenomena - some of which we can see from the ground, but many are completely invisible unless you have the right kind of equipment to detect them.

 

Your Next Stop: The Magnetosphere!

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