The magnetosphere

  • The charged particles ejected from the sun form the "solar wind" - here is an example of a solar disturbance

  • the solar wind compresses the magnetic field lines on the sunward side of the earth into a tear-drop shape - called the magnetosphere

  • the solar wind elongates the magnetic field lines on the opposite side - called the magnetotail

  • the aurora is generated when the solar wind disturbs the magnetosphere

image from Meteorology Today by C. Donald Ahrens  1994 West Publishing Company