The Sun continually ejects matter into space, blowing a huge bubble of supersonic plasma. This solar wind bathes the whole solar system and shapes all planetary environments. The growth of space technology has considerably increased our knowledge of this medium. This 2007 book presents an introduction to the subject, starting with basic principles and including all the latest advances from space exploration and theory. It contains a short introduction to plasma physics and discusses the structure of the solar interior and atmosphere, the production of solar wind and its perturbations. It explains the objects of the Solar System, from dust to comets and planets, and their interaction with the solar wind. The final sections explore the astrophysical point of view. The topics are treated at various levels of difficulty both qualitatively and quantitatively. This book will appeal to graduate students and researchers in earth and atmospheric sciences, and astrophysics.
Review of the hardback: 'The author has an easy style and a knack for clarity, picking out questions to answer and summarising key points without dull repetition. There are plenty of illustrations, including some excellent sketches and cartoons, and overviews of the types of images used … Nicole Meyer-Vernet has done an excellent job of starting at the very beginning of a complex topic and talking the reader through to an understanding of current research questions, with good humour and a sharp eye for inconsistencies.' Geoscientist
Nicole Meyer-Vernet is Research Director at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, and a senior scientist at the Observatoire de Paris. She received the 'E. Dechelle' de l'Académie des Sciences and has been involved with a number of spacecraft investigations of the earth's ionosphere, the solar wind, and cometary and planetary environments.
Preface; 1. The wind from the sun: an introduction; 2. Toolkit for space plasma physics; 3. Anatomy of the sun; 4. The outer solar atmosphere; 5. How does the solar wind blow?; 6. Structure and perturbations; 7. Bodies in the wind: dust, asteroids, planets and comets; 8. The solar wind in the universe; Index.