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In 1958, solar physicist Eugene Parker predicted the existence of the solar wind, which is a constant stream of charged particles ejected by the sun from its corona.  Parker explained that as the sun rotates about its axis, its magnetic fields cause the solar wind to move and form a helix, which was then later called the Parker spiral, and sometimes called the "ballerina skirt" after its shape and appearance.

Sometime in the middle of last year, researchers from NASA launched what they called a Parker Solar Probe with the goal of identifying and studying the source of solar wind. 

Just recently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, physicists have recreated fundamental physics happening near the sun, like mini gusts of spiraling solar wind in the lab in order to further study the different phenomena about the massive star.  Plasma physicist from the University, Ethan Peterson, reported in a publication in Nature Physics that they were not recreating the sun, describing that as "impossible to do"; they are rather recreating some of the fundamental physics that happen near it.

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Category: Science