bow shock

noun
\ ˈbau̇- How to pronounce bow shock (audio) \

Definition of bow shock

: the shock wave formed by the collision of a stellar wind with another medium (such as the magnetosphere of a planet)

Examples of bow shock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The next structure that's expected to exist is the bow shock, but that's likely to be over 100 AU farther out. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "A bonanza of data from the second Voyager to reach the Solar System’s edge," 4 Nov. 2019 However, the spacecraft only encountered the bow shock on one orbit out of many, which has led researchers to conclude that the magnetosphere was expanding during that time. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Juno Spacecraft Reveals New Mysteries at Jupiter," 25 May 2017 Juno entered the magnetosphere on June 24, 2016, and encountered what is known as a bow shock—a kind of stationary shock wave where the magnetic field begins to drive away solar wind particles. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Juno Spacecraft Reveals New Mysteries at Jupiter," 25 May 2017 Listen to the sounds of Juno entering Jupiter's space: In the video, Juno crosses two thresholds: the bow shock and the magnetopause. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Listen to the Sound and Fury of Jupiter as Recorded by Juno," 1 July 2016 On June 24, Juno crossed Jupiter's bow shock, and the next day, Juno crossed the magnetopause. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Listen to the Sound and Fury of Jupiter as Recorded by Juno," 1 July 2016 The bow shock is formed by the collision of stellar wind with the planet's magnetosphere. Samantha Mathewson, NBC News, "Looking for a Halloween Playlist? NASA Shares Universe's Spooky Sounds," 31 Oct. 2017 The loud sounds recorded by the satellite represent the spacecraft's crossing of the bow shock just outside the magnetosphere on June 24, 2016. Samantha Mathewson, NBC News, "Looking for a Halloween Playlist? NASA Shares Universe's Spooky Sounds," 31 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bow shock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bow shock

1950, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bow shock was in 1950

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Cite this Entry

“Bow shock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bow%20shock. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on bow shock

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bow shock

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