Stellar analogs for the solar wind have proven to be frustratingly difficult to detect directly. However, these stellar winds can be studied indirectly by observing the interaction regions carved out by the collisions between these winds and the interstellar medium (ISM). These interaction regions are called ``astrospheres'', analogous to the ``heliosphere'' surrounding the Sun. The heliosphere and astrospheres contain a population of hydrogen heated by charge exchange processes that can produce enough H I Ly alpha absorption to be detectable in UV spectra of nearby stars from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The amount of astrospheric absorption is a diagnostic for the strength of the stellar wind, so these observations have provided the first measurements of solar-like stellar winds. Results from these stellar wind studies and their implications for our understanding of the solar wind are reviewed here. Of particular interest are results concerning the past history of the solar wind and its impact on planetary atmospheres.
Keywords: Solar wind, Heliosphere, Astrosphere, Stellar winds
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Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:
Brian E. Wood,
"Astrospheres and Solar-like Stellar Winds",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 1, (2004), 2. URL (cited on <date>):
|Title||Astrospheres and Solar-like Stellar Winds|
|Author||Brian E. Wood|
|Date||accepted 30 June 2004, published 29 July 2004|
|Date||accepted 9 July 2007, published 13 July 2007|
|Changes||This revision includes 23 new references, two new Figures 11 and 13, and two revised Figures 14 and 15, which replace former Figures 12 and 13 of the original publication. Changes have been made to Sections 2.1, 2.3, 4.2, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4. The most substantial revisions have taken place in Sections 4.3 and 5.1. Section 6, Conclusions, has been added. See below for more details on the changes.
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