Solar Wind Essay

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Solar Winds and the Martian Atmosphere
The suns steadily releases charged particles from its upper atmosphere through the Solar System by solar winds. These winds have different effects depending on the properties of the planet. Earth, for example, has a very strong magnetic field as a result of a multitude of factors. Mars on the other hand does not have a strong magnetic field protecting it from the solar winds. It is believed that Ancient Mars had rivers and lakes, however it died billions of years ago after the bombardment of solar winds eventually depleted the atmosphere to create the version of mars that we know of today.
Solar wind is a stream of energized particles that flow out of the sun throughout the Solar System. The speed of these winds can fluctuate from anywhere between 10 km/s to 800 km/s depending on where it is and the intensity of the sun’s activities at that point in time. Solar wind is caused by the corona of the Sun spewing plasma up into space. __________________
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The below pictures shows an exaggerated version of the interaction between the Earth and the Sun. Earth’s magnetic field acts like a shield to the harmful solar winds by funneling them around it. When the sun emits large bursts of plasma some slip into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at the poles creating a light display in the sky called the aurora borealis. Mars does not have the same magnetic shield as Earth does. The following picture illustrates how influential the difference that the magnetic fields make. On the left, one could see that the solar winds directly interact with the upper atmosphere of Mars. Earth, on the right, in comparison has a very strong magnetic field. This helps keep the planet protected from the solar winds from penetrating into our atmosphere, allowing for our heavier atmosphere to be

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