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Latest Heliosphere Stories

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

d536362440b7ca36d7c0d8ac8e58ebf9
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...

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2008-06-12 12:10:00

After more than 17 years of pioneering solar science, a joint NASA and European Space Agency mission to study the sun will end on or about July 1.The Ulysses spacecraft has endured for almost four times its expected lifespan. However, the spacecraft will cease operations because of a decline in power produced by its onboard generators. Ulysses forever has changed the way scientists view the sun and its effect on the surrounding space. Mission results and the science legacy it leaves behind...

2008-06-03 15:00:14

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, and a national and international team of co-investigators have been selected by NASA to undertake a $750 thousand six-month study to design a new NASA Small Explorer Mission called the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS). In the recent announcement, NASA selected six missions for study. Two of them will eventually be chosen to move forward to...

2007-12-11 09:04:16

SAN FRANCISCO--New observations from the edge of our solar system show what scientists have suspected for several years: The solar system is squashed. The edge of the solar system is roughly where the solar wind runs up against thin gas found between the stars in the rest of the Milky Way. This "wind," actually a thin gas of electrically charged particles, blows outward in all directions from the sun at between 1 million and 2 million mph, forming a bubble called the...


Latest Heliosphere Reference Libraries

6_02132514ceb20be8f009384c891c09472
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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