What happens to the solar system when it moves through space?
The sun is a huge star that orbits the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. As it circles, the sun creates a huge magnetic field that extends out into space. This massive bubble of magnetic force, called the heliosphere, protects our planet from harmful radiation and particles coming from other stars.
When the sun is at its peak activity, it produces huge amounts of energy and particles that travel through the heliosphere at speed. These particles can interfere with satellite communications, GPS navigation, and power grids. In addition, solar flares can erupt and wreak havoc on electronics and power systems.
Why does the Sun go around in a circle?
The Sun circles the center of our galaxy, which is a big spiral galaxy. The Sun’s orbit takes about 230 million years to complete, at a speed of about 137 miles (220 kilometers) per second.
What does the Sun do during its 230-million-year orbit?
As the sun orbits the center of our galaxy, it draws in the surrounding gas and dust to form a disk-shaped region called the Milky Way. This disk of interstellar matter is about 9,000 light-years long, 400 light-years wide and undulates 500 light-years above and below the surface of the Milky Way’s central disc.
At the edge of the disk, the gas and dust swirls into a convection zone that warms to temperatures of about 3.5 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 million degrees Celsius). Then the gas and dust move outward in a radiative zone where they absorb light and heat up again.
This convection zone stretches out about 170,000 years. It’s hot enough to form a large bubble of plasma, which is a soup of ionized atoms. The plasma is so hot that it can vaporize water.
When the sun is at its maximum activity, it produces huge amounts of energy and particle that travel through the heliosphere at a speed of about 137 miles (230 kilometers) per second. These particles can interfere with satellite communications, navigation, and power grids. In addition, there are often geomagnetic storms, which can knock out satellites and interfere with communications, power grids, and oil and gas pipelines.
The planetary orbits around the Sun are ellipses, which means that they are tilted at about 7.25 degrees with respect to the plane of the galaxy’s galactic plane. This angle causes the planetary orbits to be “tipped” with respect to the Sun’s motion around the galaxy, just as our windshield tips with respect to the car’s forward movement.
The Earth’s spin is counteracting the Sun’s gravity, which only works at the equator. This means that when the sun is at its highest activity, it is releasing a lot of energy and particles into space, causing a whirlwind of solar storms. These can disrupt satellite-to-ground communications, cause electric power surges that melt electrical transformers, and damage telecommunications and GPS signals.