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bow shock

bow shock The shock wave in front of an object moving through a gas or liquid medium. The most familiar solar system example is the shock-wave front between the magnetic field of a planet and the solar wind. It is the outer boundary of a planetary magnetosphere, where the solar wind is slowed from supersonic to subsonic velocities. It forms upwind of the magnetopause (the boundary where the planet is shielded from the solar wind).

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