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Jupiter NASA New Horizons

Observes solar wind

9 Feb, 2007

New Horizons’ SWAP instrument sends back data on the solar wind around Jupiter. From a distance of 40 million miles, it observes an immense structure of compressed, dense, hot ionized gas that forms in the solar wind, called a co-rotating interaction region.

These solar wind structures collide with the magnetospheres of planets and, we believe, cause major variations in their structures. Because it has the largest magnetosphere in the solar system, the effects of the solar wind at Jupiter could have significant implications for all the planets.