The boundary layer between a planet's → magnetosphere and the → magnetic field of the → solar wind. It borders the → magnetosheath and is defined by the surface on which the pressure of the solar wind is balanced by that of the planet's magnetic field. The front point of the Earth's magnetopause, on the sun-ward side of the Earth, is about 10 terrestrial radii, on average. This point can be closer or farther, because the magnetopause contracts or expands depending on the intensity of the solar wind.
From → magneto- + pause "break, cessation, stop," from M.Fr. pause, from L. pausa "a halt, stop, cessation," from Gk. pausis "stopping, ceasing," from pauein "to stop, to cause to cease."
From meqnât-→ magnet + marz "frontier, border, boundary," from Mid.Pers. marz "boundary;" Av. marəza- "border, district," marəz- "to rub, wipe;" Mod.Pers. parmâs "contact, touching" (→ contact), mâl-, mâlidan "to rub;" PIE base *merg- "boundary, border;" cf. L. margo "edge" (Fr. marge "margin"); Ger. Mark; E. mark, margin.