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Scientists Begin to Unravel Gigantic Space Ribbon

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At newswatch.nationalgeographic.com


Mystery about ‘Ribbon of Energy’ Solved, Say Astronomers
(image by FrenchTribune.com)

In 2009 astronomers using NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft accidently came across a giant ribbon-like formation snaking its way across the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space. Ever since, its true nature has remained a riddle astronomers have been unable to solve. But now, they believe they are a step closer to explaining this bizarre structure. The solar system--the sun and all its planets--is surrounded by a protective magnetic bubble-like boundary called the heliosphere, which acts as a frontline against incoming cosmic rays and interstellar clouds. The science team had been using IBEX to construct the first-ever all-sky map of the interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system when they came across this puzzling ribbon that appears across much of the heliosphere.

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At newswatch.nationalgeographic.com


 

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... by Kyle McDermott on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 7:52:00 PM