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Near a magnetized planet, space is thus divided into two regions: the high-speed solar wind, to which the planetary magnitic field does not reach, and the magnetosphere, where the planetary magnetic field is confined but the solar wind cannot enter. The boundary between the two regions is known as the magnetopause. This is a first example of how space plasmas become structured into different regions.

Magnetospheres are not empty: they are filled with a plasma, partly from the planetary iono- sphere, partly from a fraction of the solar wind that manages to cross the magnetopause and enter the magnetosphere.

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