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Originally posted by nunya13
I'm sorry. I consider myself a very smart person, however, I always have a hard time understanding the type of language this paper uses. Can you please explain exactly what it means? Thanks a bunch!
Examples of the very speculative nature of Alfvén's conclusions include factually inaccurate explanations for star formation using Birkeland currents.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft created this image of the bubble around our solar system based on emissions of particles known as energetic neutral atoms. These particles are emitted from the boundary of the heliosphere, our sun's region of influence, as solar wind interacts with the interstellar medium. The solar wind, not shown, is a steady stream of particles emitted from our sun. The interstellar medium is the matter in between stars in our local corner of the Milky Way galaxy. Data for this map was captured by the Ion and Neutral Camera on Cassini's Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument between late 2003 and summer 2009.
This image shows high-energy particles in the 6 kilo-electron-volt range, with red indicating the hottest, most high-pressure regions and purple the coolest, lowest-pressure regions. The map was generated based on galactic coordinates, which centers the map around our sun and lines up the plane of our galaxy with the map's equator.
The label "nose" indicates the direction of the flow of interstellar plasma, or hot, ionized matter. The label "tail" indicates the view behind us. V1 and V2 indicate the locations of NASA's Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft. "ISMF" denotes the estimated direction of the Interstellar Magnetic Field, which surrounds our solar system and pushes against the heliosphere at an angle. Some areas are colored gray to indicate incomplete coverage because of interference from the sun and Saturn.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab manages the mission for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The magnetospheric imaging instrument was designed, built and is operated by an international team led by the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Md.
Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) are particles with no charge that move relatively fast. ENAs are formed from particles that are ionized, meaning they have lost electrons. Sometimes, these ions interact with neutral atoms taking the electrons from those neutral atoms and becoming neutral themselves. Since the particle is no longer charged (it has equal numbers of protons, and electrons) it no longer reacts to the magnetic fields, and travels in a straight line from the spot where the interaction occurred.
What is plasma?
Plasma is a state of matter. Everything in the Universe is made of “stuff” called matter. All matter is made of atoms, and it can exist in different states. Many people are familiar with three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.
Atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have a neutral charge and they both make up the atom's nucleus. Electrons have a negative charge. They surround the nucleus of the atom.
In a solid, the atoms are tightly bound together. Solids have a fixed volume and shape. Heating up a solid will often cause it to change to a liquid. Liquids have atoms that are less tightly bonded together. They have a fixed volume, but not a fixed shape. Adding heat energy to a liquid will often transform it to a gas. Gasses have neither a fixed volume nor a fixed shape. Their atoms are not bonded together and they move around freely.
When heat energy is added to a gas, it begins to move around faster. When enough heat energy is added to a gas it can become a plasma.
Plasma is similar to gas, but its particles have a different structure and charge. Plasma forms when a gas becomes extremely hot. When this happens, the gas’ atoms gain lots of energy. This energy causes the electrons to detach from the nuclei of the gas’ atoms. When the negatively charged electrons detach, the positively charged protons and neutral particles called neutrons in the nuclei are left. These positively charged nuclei are called ions. When a gas is so hot that the electrons and protons split apart to form electrons and ions, we say that the gas has been ionized. Plasma is an ionized gas.
Plasma has some interesting properties because the particles are ionized. When charged particles move, as they do in a plasma, they create magnetic fields. These magnetic fields can then cause the moving plasma particles to travel in certain directions and paths. The particles travel in spiraling paths like corkscrews.
What is the Sun made of?
The Sun is mostly made of two elements, called Hydrogen and Helium, in a state of matter called plasma.