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The solar wind drags magnetic field lines out from the surface. Traveling at a speed of 500 kilometres per second, particles will reach the orbit of Saturn in one solar rotation—27 days—but in that time period the source on the Sun will have gone completely around. In other words, the magnetic field lines emanating from the Sun describe a spiral. It takes four days for the solar wind to arrive at Earth, having originated from a point that has rotated about 50° west (13° per day) from its original position facing Earth. The magnetic field lines, which do not break, maintain this path, and the plasma moves along them.

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