Latest Heliosphere Stories

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...

2008-10-06 13:35:00

The first NASA spacecraft to image and map the dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space is ready for launch Oct. 19. The two-year mission will begin from the Kwajalein Atoll, a part of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Called the Interstellar Boundary Explorer or IBEX, the spacecraft will conduct extremely high-altitude orbits above Earth to investigate and capture images of processes taking place at the farthest reaches of the...

2008-09-23 15:05:00

Data from the Ulysses spacecraft, a joint NASA-European Space Agency mission, show the sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings became available. The sun's current state could reduce the natural shielding that envelops our solar system. "The sun's million mile-per-hour solar wind inflates a protective bubble, or heliosphere, around the solar system. It influences how things work here on Earth and even out at the boundary of our solar system where...

2008-07-28 08:50:00

At the edge of our solar system in December 2004, the Voyager 1 spacecraft encountered something never before experienced during its then 26-year cruise through the solar system "” an invisible shock formed as the solar wind piles up against the gas in interstellar space. This boundary, called the termination shock, marks the beginning of our solar system's final frontier, a vast expanse of turbulent gas and twisting magnetic fields. A NASA-sponsored team is developing a way to view...

2008-07-09 10:15:00

NASA's sun-focused STEREO spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year, allowing University of California, Berkeley, scientists to map for the first time the energized particles in the region where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium. Mapping the region by means of neutral, or uncharged, atoms instead of light "heralds a new kind of astronomy using neutral atoms," said Robert Lin, UC Berkeley professor of physics and lead for...

2008-07-02 15:05:00

San Francisco, CA. - NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has followed its twin Voyager 1 into the solar system's final frontier, a vast region at the edge of our solar system where the solar wind runs up against the thin gas between the stars. However, Voyager 2 took a different path, entering this region, called the heliosheath, on August 30, 2007. Because Voyager 2 crossed the heliosheath boundary, called the solar wind termination shock, about 10 billion miles away from Voyager 1 and almost a...

2008-07-02 14:05:00

When you flip a light switch to illuminate the pages of your favorite book or reach into your refrigerator for that last piece of key lime pie, you expect the electric current coursing through the outlets to power everything from your lights to your nifty new big-screen television. When the power goes out, it can be more than just an inconvenience. NASA's Solar Shield experiment explores how timely space weather forecasts can help power companies keep the power flowing to the many appliances...

2008-07-02 13:50:00

GREENBELT, Md. -- NASA's sun-focused Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, twin spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year. This helped scientists map the energized particles where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium. The two STEREO spacecraft were launched in 2006 into Earth's orbit around the sun to obtain stereo pictures of the sun's surface and measure magnetic fields and ion fluxes associated with solar...

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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Word of the Day
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'