Latest David McComas Stories

Alien Matter In The Solar System: A Galactic Mismatch
2012-02-12 05:14:50

[ Watch the Video ] This just in:  The Solar System is different from the space just outside it. 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. “We´ve detected alien matter that came into our solar system from other parts of the galaxy--and, chemically speaking, it´s not exactly like what we...

2010-12-15 10:23:47

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. NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, designed to image the invisible interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system, captured images of magnetospheric structures and a dynamic event occurring in the magnetosphere as...

2010-09-30 11:45:36

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. That's where the solar wind, an outward rush of charged particles and magnetic fields continuously spewed by the Sun, runs into the flow of particles and fields that permeates interstellar space in our neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy. No spacecraft had ever...

2006-02-21 07:32:40

SWRI -- 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. These cosmic rays, among the most energetic particle radiation in the solar system, are thought to be produced at the termination shock - the boundary at the edge of the solar system where the million-mile-per-hour solar wind abruptly slows. A mystery unfolded instead when Voyager data...

Word of the Day
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'