Latest David McComas Stories
Researchers announced the finding at a press conference on Jan. 31, 2012. It’s based on data from NASA’s IBEX spacecraft, which is able to sample material flowing into the solar system from interstellar space.
Invisible to the naked eye, yet massive in structure around the Earth is the magnetosphere, the region of space around the planet that ebbs and flows in response to the million-mile-per-hour flow of charged particles continually blasting from the Sun.
When NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) on October 19, 2008, space physicists held their collective breath for never-before-seen views of a collision zone far beyond the planets, roughly 10 billion miles away.
When Voyager 1 finally crossed the "termination shock" at the edge of interstellar space in December 2004, space physicists anticipated the long-sought discovery of the source of anomalous cosmic rays. A mystery unfolded instead when Voyager data showed 20 years of predictions to be wrong.