Thursday, June 27, 2013

Surprise at the edge of the solar system - Telepolis

Matthias Matting 28/06/2013

Who wants to meet NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft on a tea that is based in the universe best as follows: Turn left at the Virgo Supercluster of the intergalactic highway. Ask passers-by of the Local Group galaxies comprehensive 47. Search there a galaxy with balkenförmigem core and two dominant spiral arms. About 15,000 light-years north of its symmetry axis of the galaxy is the Orion Arm, a secondary spiral arm between Perseus and Scutum-Centaurus arm.

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    an approximately 2,000 light-years wide, elliptical cluster of young stars and star-forming regions falls here into the eye, the Gouldsche belt, please come flying closer. The middle of it you will have a few hundred light-years wide, hourglass matter and especially poor bubble in the interstellar medium notice, which was caused by a supernova.

    Now watch and take a closer look, then you should notice the Local flake, which is about 30 light years and much more cosmic matter (mostly hydrogen gas) as the environment. At best you are looking for a triple star, the name the man Linge Alpha Centauri. Only 4.4 light years further sparkles a medium-sized, yellow star in his prime.


    When approaching the destination, please curb your spacecraft gradually. Otherwise you risk the billions of collisions with objects that make up the Oort cloud. This forms a ball seat having a diameter of two to four years of light around the central star. The next obstacle on the way to the ground is called the Scattered Disc (SD). You have your pilots better in time out because the SD contains a certain extent all the wrong-way driver on the celestial highway: The objects (SDOs), from which it is made, do not move in the plane of the planets around the sun, but in highly eccentric orbits. ” / p>

    on the border

    Now it is to keep your eyes open. Out there, somewhere here in 122-fold Erdentfernung traveling from the sun, Voyager must first Under the assumptions of its builders, it should have left the sphere of influence of the sun actually just behind it, the heliosphere, which is determined by 1.5 million kilometers per hour fast solar wind ((Has Voyager 1 already left the heliosphere?). Exactly where Voyager 1 is betrayed its instruments still work even 35 years after the start and send data back to earth – from which one can claim similar to old car that already


    The solar wind consists of charged particles that is mainly, electrons, protons and helium nuclei, while the interstellar medium is composed of 90 percent neutral hydrogen gas. Another characteristic of the heliosphere is the magnetic field, whose origin is the sun and the Voyager 1 can also measure. Theoretically (because no one has crossed this area) is located on the border of a particularly turbulent area, similar to the bow wave of a ship, meet in the solar wind and interstellar medium.

    Newly discovered transition region

    The space scientists were very excited to finally get data from here – and then realized that the structure of this boundary is probably more complicated than we thought. Voyager 1 crossed five times last year, namely a kind of limit at which the ambient properties of each significant change.

    How is

    in three papers found on the website of Science magazine (here, here and here), the measured values ??of its magnetic field sensors increased each time significantly. Simultaneously, the number of charged particles decreased, partly by the factor of 1000. In parallel, the proportion of low-energy, neutral particles, which are attributable to the interstellar medium by approximately ten percent.

    Artistic representation of the transition zone. Credit: NASA, JPL

    Obviously Voyager is still controlled by the magnetic field in the sun room – but this zone is, as the researchers call it, “depleted” of electricity, ie charged particles from the sun has dried up. The transition region newly discovered, scientists only have to plug into their models, to make it in Science and suggestions. But now they show up very excited about what Voyager 1 on his journey probably will discover.

    The eBook “The new biography of the solar system,” the author, the development and construction of our solar system in detail describes is at Amazon (Mobi, DRM-free) and at Beam-books (ePub, PDF DRM-free) available.

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