NASA Finds the Nexus

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Psion, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    "NASA's IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft has made the first all-sky maps of the heliosphere and the results have taken researchers by surprise. The maps are bisected by a bright, winding ribbon of unknown origin..."

    Hyperlink to be installed on Tuesday.
     
  2. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Premium Member

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    An interesting find. I'd comment on this more, but unfortunately I have an appointment with Eternity, and I don't want to be late. :evil:
     
  3. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    Why would he destroy a star? :vulcan:

    I've got to stop him!
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, the Nexus's odd temporal properties must be manifesting, since this news is three months old. Of course, what's interesting here is what this pattern of ionized gases reveals about the shape of Sol's magnetosphere and how it interacts with the interstellar medium beyond. Apparently it's a lot more spherical than we thought and doesn't have the same kind of "tail" as a planet's magnetic field blown by the solar wind.
     
  5. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Time is the fire that burns within all of us.....

    Now off to my Victorian wife and children

    "Come join us Papa!"
     
  6. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder if the "ribbon" is due to magnetic reconnection where the heliospheric neutral current sheet in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) interacts with the galactic magnetic field. That's one mechanism for producing a feature with this geometry that would be capable of accelerating particles. (There may be others that I haven't thought of, of course.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliospheric_current_sheet

    If the ribbon lies roughly in the plane of the ecliptic, that would tend to confirm the hypothesis. If the ribbon were to disappear temporarily when the IMF switches polarity at the end of an 11-year solar cycle, that would also be indicative.

    ETA: The theorists took less than two months to produce a viable explanation in terms of the galactic magnetic field acting as a kind of particle mirror:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ibex/magnetic-mirror.html

    I'd still like to know if the current sheet has any influence.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  7. Piper

    Piper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh shit...
     

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