Solar wind consists of particles, usually electrons and protons, continually streaming away from the corona of the Sun. The solar wind has a magnetic field effect on cosmic rays and thus on cloud coverage.
The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a bubble in the interstellar medium surrounding the solar system. Solar wind also creates the aurora or "Northern Lights", and causes the tails of comets to always point away from the sun.
The solar wind is extremely sparse, containing only a few fast moving particles per cubic centimeter at the Earth. The exact geometry and extent of the solar wind is not well known.
Effect on the earth's clouds
- Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (1997) have shown that global cloud cover, observed by satellites, is linked to the strength of galactic cosmic rays modulated by the solar wind (r = 0.95).