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Giant Ribbon Discovered at the Edge of the Solar System

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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 10:54 AM
Original message
Giant Ribbon Discovered at the Edge of the Solar System
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/15oct_ibex.htm

October 15, 2009: For years, researchers have known that the solar system is surrounded by a vast bubble of magnetism. Called the "heliosphere," it springs from the sun and extends far beyond the orbit of Pluto, providing a first line of defense against cosmic rays and interstellar clouds that try to enter our local space. Although the heliosphere is huge and literally fills the sky, it emits no light and no one has actually seen it.

Until now.

This ribbon winds between the two Voyager spacecraft and was not observed by either of them," notes Eric Christian, IBEX deputy mission scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "It's like having two weather stations, but missing the big storm that runs between them."

The ribbon also has fine structure--small filaments of ENA emission no more than a few degrees wide: image. The fine structure is as much of a mystery as the ribbon itself, researchers say.

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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. like the ribbon in star trek? seriously, this is fascinating, and thanks.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. I am so there!!

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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. Maybe it's a Vib-Ribbon!




:evilgrin:
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. That's fascinating. I'm still trying to visualize it
Yeah I know you provided a picture, but still... :eyes:

Very, very interesting.

Hekate
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. I know what you mean.... wish the Hubble could *see* it and show us.
:)
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's a strange strange universe we live in, master jus_the_facts.
Edited on Fri Oct-16-09 11:02 AM by Ozymanithrax
Makes me wish I were a mathmatician and could understand this stuff on a more fundamental level.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. It sure is...and I do too.....
:hi:
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. wow -- punning off fairly obscure 60's ditties today, are we?

;-)
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MurrayDelph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
7. Maybe it's an alarm
waiting for something living to cross it.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
9. Ooooh... neat! I love this part:
Edited on Fri Oct-16-09 11:39 AM by redqueen
One important clue: The ribbon runs perpendicular to the direction of the galactic magnetic field just outside the heliosphere, as shown in the illustration at right.

"That cannot be a coincidence," says McComas. But what does it mean? No one knows. "We're missing some fundamental aspect of the interaction between the heliosphere and the rest of the galaxy. Theorists are working like crazy to figure this out."


Heh, that last part reminds me of a scene from this week's Big Bang Theory. :rofl:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I loved that show...
...when I still watched TV. :D
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. In this week's episode, Sheldon gives Koothrappali a job.
The scene the text reminded me of is one in which they're trying to come up with an experiment to test Sheldon's theory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5oc-70Fby4
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. LOL....
...I miss them! :D
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. Crime scene tape?
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