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Solar System Caught in an Interstellar Tempest

06 Nov
Solar System Caught in an Interstellar Tempest

Deus Nexus

Source:New Scientist | by Lisa Grossman

The solar system is travelling through an enormous, and very tenuous, cloud of gas (not to scale) (Image: NASA/Goddard/Adler/University of Chicago/Wesleyan)

The solar system is travelling through much stormier skies than we thought, and might even be about to pop out of the huge gas cloud we have been gliding through for at least 45,000 years. That’s the implication of a multi-decade survey of the interstellar wind buffeting the solar system, which has revealed an unexpected change in the wind’s direction.

The edge of the solar system is roughly defined by the heliosphere, a giant magnetic bubble blown by charged particles streaming from the sun. This bubble shields Earth from much of the interstellar wind, so a change in the wind’s direction will have little effect here on the ground.

But the change does tell us something surprising about our galactic surroundings…

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Publicado por en noviembre 6, 2015 en Publicados

 

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