After a 36 year cosmic road trip one of the twin Voyager spacecrafts has entered a bizarre boundary of the solar system that leads directly into the interstellar realm of the Milky Way galaxy.
NASA scientists believe new data from the plucky Voyager 1 probe indicates that it is traveling through the final bubble like layer that surrounds the Sun and planets. When will it officially leave the solar empire is anyone’s guess but when it does it will make history as the first human-made object to do so.
Find out how scientists are following Voyager and what they think the future has in store for it in my story for National Geographic News.
Tags: galaxy, heliosphere, Milky Way, science, space, Voyager 1
Posted in Planets, Solar System, Space Exploration, Sun, stars | Comments Off
In 2009 astronomers using NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft accidentally 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.
Read more about what scientists have uncovered about this weird structure sitting at the very edge of our solar neighborhood at my article on National Geographic News.
Tags: heliosphere, IBEX
Posted in Solar System, Space Exploration | 1 Comment »
Media interest was high earlier this week about the first ever observation of atoms from outside of the solar system. The discovery not only helps pinpoint our location in the Milky Way galaxy but gives us tantalizing clues to where our Sun was born. Check out my short TV interview on this exciting finding.
EXTRA: Also my latest Night Sky episode showing how to find the great Orion constellation is now online here.
Tags: heliosphere, IBEX, TV
Posted in Planets, Solar System | Comments Off
NASA astronomers made a stunning announcement today that they’ve discovered that alien particles from distant regions of the Milky Way are bombarding our solar system.
The new observations, made thanks to the IBEX satellite, not only gives us a glimpse of what exists in the so-called interstellar medium—the matter between stars—but also offers clues to the anatomy of our local galactic neighborhood.
How did these alien particles make it to Earth’s vicinity and what does this say about habitability of exoplanets? Read the rest of my story at National Geographic News.
Here is NASA video capsule on what IBEX spacecraft has found….
Tags: heliosphere, IBEX
Posted in Solar System, Space Exploration, Sun, stars | 1 Comment »