UMD-led study shows how Earth slows the solar wind to a gentle breeze

(University of Maryland) A University of Maryland-led study describes the first observations of the process of electron heating in Earth's bow shock. The researchers found that when the electrons in the solar wind encounter the bow shock, they momentarily accelerate to such a high speed that the electron stream becomes unstable and breaks down. This breakdown process robs the electrons of their high speed and converts the energy to heat.