Questions tagged [solar-wind]

The solar wind is a stream of plasma released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun. It consists of mostly electrons, protons and alpha particles with energies usually between 1.5 and 10 keV.

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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does the Parker Solar Probe's heat shield protect it from dust near the sun?

In this answer the survival of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft passing as close as 9 solar radii from the Sun's surface is discussed. Using guestimates for apoapsis and periapsis of 1.1 $a_{venus}$,...
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18 votes
3 answers
9k views

Place a satellite at Sun-Mars L1 to shield Mars from Sun radiation

Instead of placing many magnetic satellites close to Mars to artificially generate a magnetic field to protect Martian colonists from harming radiation, we could place a magnetic satellite at ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the average electrical charge on the lunar surface?

Known facts: The lunar surface is covered by regolith. The Solar wind imparts a charge to the lunar surface Wikipedia says On the daylit side of the Moon, solar ultraviolet and X-ray radiation ...
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5 votes
2 answers
140 views

Where is the Wind going? Where has it been? (Global Geospace Science spacecraft 1994-071A)

This excellent answer to Why put DSCOVR in a Lissajous orbit? Wouldn't a halo orbit completely avoid the Sun exclusion zone? explains that the Global Geospace Science or Wind spacecraft ...
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5 votes
1 answer
185 views

Why exactly would "permanently shadowed polar lunar craters... have substantially higher levels of ³He than sunlit lunar surfaces?"

Researching this answer led to ³He in permanently shadowed lunar polar surfaces published in Icarus. The abstract is tantalizing but terse: Abstract Because of their cryogenic temperatures, analysis ...
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4 votes
2 answers
125 views

Ramscoop for a space station or lunar base?

From what I've read, the Bussard ramscoop has problems which make it impractical as a means of propulsion. However, would it be possible to use it for a different purpose? Could a space station or ...
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4 votes
1 answer
582 views

How much radiation shielding would be required for a habitat at Mercury–Sun L5?

Given an O'Neill "Island Three" style cylindrical habitat located at Mercury–Sun L5 orbit, how much radiation shielding would be required to protect the occupants, and how would it need to be ...
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5 votes
1 answer
329 views

Why didn't SpaceX see that geomagnetic storm coming? Was this a fluke or could this happen more frequently in the future? (R.I.P. 40 lost starlinks)

Ars Technica's SpaceX loses up to 40 satellites to geomagnetic storm after Starlink launch explains that a geomagnetic storm heated Earth's upper atmosphere (circa 200 km) so much that the aerodynamic ...
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0 votes
1 answer
327 views

Could a spacecraft be propelled by the deflection of a very high number of charged particles?

I am wondering if a spacecraft could be propelled through interplanetary space via the deflection and/or displacement of a very high number of charged particles contained within the Sun's solar wind. ...
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