Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

Latest Heliosphere Stories

2010-01-12 23:10:00

Ever since NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, mission scientists released the first comprehensive sky map of our solar system's edge in particles, solar physicists have been busy revising their models to account for the discovery of a narrow "ribbon" of bright emission that was completely unexpected and not predicted by any model at the time. Further study by a team of scientists funded through NASA's Heliophysics Guest Investigator program has produced a revised model that...

2009-12-23 13:41:57

The solar system is passing through an interstellar cloud that physics says should not exist. In the Dec. 24th issue of Nature, a team of scientists reveal how NASA's Voyager spacecraft have solved the mystery. "Using data from Voyager, we have discovered a strong magnetic field just outside the solar system," explains lead author Merav Opher, a NASA Heliophysics Guest Investigator from George Mason University. "This magnetic field holds the interstellar cloud together and solves the...

2009-11-20 09:10:29

When NASA's Cassini spacecraft began orbiting Saturn five years ago, a dozen highly-tuned science instruments set to work surveying, sniffing, analyzing and scrutinizing the Saturnian system. But Cassini recently revealed new data that appeared to overturn the decades-old belief that our solar system resembled a comet in shape as it moves through the interstellar medium (the matter between stars in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy). Instead, the new results suggest our heliosphere more...

2009-10-16 07:20:00

Images from the Ion and Neutral Camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggest that the heliosphere, the region of the sun's influence, may not have the comet-like shape predicted by existing models. In a paper published Oct. 15 in Science Express, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory present a new view of the heliosphere, and the forces that shape it. "These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years; the sun travels through the galaxy not...

2009-10-16 06:50:00

NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft has made it possible for scientists to construct the first comprehensive sky map of our solar system and its location in the Milky Way galaxy. The new view will change the way researchers view and study the interaction between our galaxy and sun. The sky map was produced with data that two detectors on the spacecraft collected during six months of observations. The detectors measured and counted particles scientists refer to as...

2009-10-15 13:00:00

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly a year ago - on October 19, 2008 - the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) - a NASA Small Explorer Mission - was launched into Earth orbit to discover the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium - the gas, dust and radiation environment between the stars - by measuring the neutral atoms created by that interaction. As our Sun travels through the galaxy it is encompassed in a giant bubble inflated by a...

2009-09-29 12:30:00

Planning a trip to Mars? Take plenty of shielding. According to sensors on NASA's ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high. "In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions." The cause of the surge is solar...

2009-06-30 14:00:00

Scientists said goodbye to the Ulysses solar probe on Tuesday, following 18 years of activity. "Ulysses has taught us more than we ever expected about the sun and the way it interacts with the space surrounding it," said Richard Marsden, Ulysses project manager with the European Space Agency (ESA). Named for the Latin translation of Odysseus, after Dante's Inferno, the veteran solar probe has been retrieving data for more than 18 and 1/2 years - four times longer than scientists had...

2009-06-18 11:26:26

Research also provides insight to particle 'recycling' processes in space NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has made the first observations of very fast hydrogen atoms coming from the moon, following decades of speculation and searching for their existence. During spacecraft commissioning, the IBEX team turned on the IBEX-Hi instrument, built primarily by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which measures atoms with speeds from...

2008-10-20 14:45:00

NASA is sending a small spacecraft on a two-year mission that will give scientists their first view of the outermost reaches of our solar system.The Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, satellite launched into high-Earth orbit on Sunday from a site at Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific, where it will study a chaotic region in space where the solar wind from the sun clashes with cold gases from interstellar space.The solar wind, a stream of electrically conducting gas continuously moving...

Latest Heliosphere Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Heliopause -- The heliopause is the boundary where our Sun's solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium. The solar wind blows a "bubble" in the interstellar medium (the rareified hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the galaxy). The point where the solar wind's strength is no longer great enough to push back the interstellar medium is known as the heliopause, and is often considered to be the outer "border" of the solar system. The distance to the heliopause is not precisely...

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