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Thread: An example of bad press release

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    An example of bad press release

    A very interesting story about Ulysses' encounter with the cometary tail of McNaught and the measured slowing down of the solar wind by the tail, presented here by space.com through yahoo is marred by the comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by space.com
    The solar wind consists of charged atoms that are missing most of their electrons, but Ulysses found that solar wind particles passing through the comet's atmosphere could regain some of those electrons.
    My problem is with the part I bolded. Yes, the solar wind consists of ionized atoms, but ALSO of electrons, keeping it all neutral. This is how a lot of the confusion in the ATM department starts.

    Actually, this is a very nice example of how charge exchange works. I think I will have to get the ApJ paper where these results are presented.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The sad thing is, a slight rewording will fix it as in...
    "The solar wind contains atoms that are seperated from thier electrons."
    Not perfect, but much better.

    Unfortunately, the goal was to describe the atoms in the solar wind, and not describe the solar wind itself. "Consists" usually sounds all inclusive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Unfortunately, the goal was to describe the atoms in the solar wind, and not describe the solar wind itself. "Consists" usually sounds all inclusive.
    Yeah, when saying something "consists of", it's generally followed by all the parts that make something up--at least the major ones.

    You would never just say, "The driver was stopped for DUI after drinking too much beer, which consists of water".

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