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Giant Ribbon Discovered at the Edge of the Solar System

Giant Ribbon Discovered at the Edge of the Solar System
+ Play Audio | + Download Audio | + Join mailing list 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. Until now. 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. Above: IBEX's all-sky map of energetic neutral atom emission reveals a bright filament of unknown origin. "This is a shocking new result," says IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. Although the ribbon looks bright in the IBEX map, it does not glow in any conventional sense. The ribbon also has fine structure--small filaments of ENA emission no more than a few degrees wide: image. Stay tuned for updates. Related:  our solar systemSpace StatusSolar System

Voyager Spacecraft Enters a Strange, Mysterious Region 11 Billion Miles from Earth --Upending Long-Standing Theories Launched 36 years ago, the Voyager 1 spacecraft speeds a rate of about a million miles a day entering a bizarre and mysterious region more than 11 billion miles from Earth that scientists are struggling to make sense of. It's a region where the fierce solar winds have all but vanished and pieces of atoms blasted across the galaxy by ancient supernovae drift into the solar system, the NASA probe is causing scientists to question some long-standing theories on the nature of our solar system and life beyond its cold dark edge dubbed the "magnetic highway" --a newly discovered area of the heliosphere, the vast bubble of magnetism that shields the solar system from deadly cosmic rays. Voyager 1 entered the edge of the solar wind in 2003, when the spacecraft’s instruments indicated that particles around it were moving subsonically, having slowed down after traveling far from the sun. "This is a new region that we didn't know existed," Krimigis says. Image credit: Southwest Research Institute

The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond | 2012 and Earthchanges News events Titan’s Haze Could Hold Recipe for Life, No Water Needed | Wired Science When it comes to determining exactly where in the solar system life began, things have never been so up in the air. Scientists over the past decade have suggested deep-sea hydrothermal vents, underground aquifers, partially frozen lakes and even comets as locations for the origin of life. Now an experiment that simulates chemical reactions in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s haze-shrouded moon, adds a new location to the list of unexpected places where life could have begun — in the sky. The study used radio waves as an energy source, simulating the action of ultraviolet radiation from the sun that strikes the top of Titan’s thick atmosphere and breaks apart molecules such as methane and molecular nitrogen. The experiment is the first to produce amino acids and the nucleotide bases that make up DNA and RNA — the basic ingredients of life — without the need for liquid water, says Sarah Hörst of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Image: NASA See Also:

L'énigmatique formation des étoiles massives Les étoiles massives, malgré leur petit nombre, jouent un rôle fondamental dans l'Univers. Comme leurs consœurs de faible masse, elles naissent de l'effondrement d'un nuage interstellaire, mais on ignore encore comment elles peuvent atteindre des dizaines de masses solaires. La découverte de disques d'accrétion autour de certaines d'entre elles éclaire leur formation. Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri 100 fois plus massive que le Soleil, Pismis 24-1, l’étoile la plus brillante de l’amas ci-dessus, est l’une des plus grosses étoiles connues à ce jour. © NASA /ESA / Jeniz mais apelanis L'auteur Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri est astrophysicien à l'Observatoire de Paris. Compléments A vec ses quelque 2 × 1027 tonnes – 300 000 fois la masse de la Terre – et une température de surface de 5 800 kelvins, le Soleil n'est jamais qu'une étoile naine qui fait pâle figure à côté de certains monstres cosmiques. Les étoiles massives jouent un rôle de premier plan dans le cosmos.

First Images of Our Solar System's Tail Revealed | IBEX Heliotail Observations Astronomers have gotten the first-ever peek at our solar system's tail, called the heliotail, finding that it's shaped like a four-leaf clover, NASA scientists announced today (July 10). The discovery was made using NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), a coffee table-sized spacecraft that is studying the edge of the solar system. "Many models have suggested the heliotail might look like this or like that, but we have had no observations," David McComas, IBEX principal investigator at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Tex., said in a statement. "We always drew pictures where the tail of the solar system just trailed off the page, since we couldn't even speculate about what it really looked like." [Images: NASA's IBEX Sees Our Solar System's Tail] The tail drags behind the bullet-shaped heliosphere, or the bubble surrounding our solar system that's created by the solar wind and solar magnetic field. The new findings are detailed in the Astrophysical Journal.

Astronomers Get First Peek at Atmosphere of a "Super-Earth" Exoplanet Someday in the coming years, if astronomers finally succeed in locating a virtual Earth twin outside the solar system—a tiny dot of a world at a temperate, life-enabling distance from a sunlike star—the achievement will hardly be cause for resting on observational laurels. Instead another race will begin: to characterize the planet and its atmosphere and to determine if the world is truly habitable or, tantalizingly, if it is already inhabited by some extraterrestrial life-form. In the meantime, astronomers are honing their techniques on the closest thing available—so-called super-Earths, just a few times the mass of our own planet, which are too hot to be habitable but are interesting in their own right. To that end, a team of researchers has managed to capture the light spectrum of a super-Earth backlit by its host star. "This is the most accessible way to study these planets' atmospheres," says lead study author Jacob Bean of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

WebStars: Astrophysics in Cyberspace This list of astronomical resource sites is intended as a resource for users who have a general interest in astronomical topics. For a translation of any acronyms you may have seen in our pages check out our acronyms page. In the News Read the latest NASA news! The Solar System Planetary Exploration The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has information on missions around the solar system: past, present, future, and proposed. The SOHO gallery SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) is a joint NASA/ESA mission to study the Sun during the quiet portion of the solar cycle. Project Galileo Galileo is a space probe to Jupiter, whose mission ended in September 2003. The Cassini Mission Cassini is a space probe to Saturn launched in October, 1997. New Horizons The Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto and Charon ­ a "double planet" system and the last in our solar system to be visited by spacecraft. Mars

L'Etoile des Enfants Earth has Ring Of Anti-Protons Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter PAMELA team and detector in Rome before launch. Photo courtesy of the PAMELA Experiment When it comes to planets with rings, we know the answer: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. “The existence of a significant flux of antiprotons confined to Earth’s magnetosphere has been considered in several theoretical works.” says team leader, O. The PAMELA experiment – short for Payload for Antimatter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics – is based on an international collaboration involving about 100 physicists. “The satellite orbit (70 degree inclination and 350–610 km altitude) allows PAMELA to perform a very detailed measurement of the cosmic radiation in different regions of Earth’s magnetosphere, providing information about the nature and energy spectra of sub-cutoff particles.” says Adriani. From its subdetectors, PAMELA dished up a serving of antiprotons, but it wasn’t an easy job. About Tammy Plotner

Space Zen: Will Humans' Brains Change During Travel in Outer Space? -A Galaxy Insight In February, 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell experienced the little understood phenomenon sometimes called the “Overview Effect”. He describes being completely engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness. Without warning, he says, a feeing of bliss, timelessness, and connectedness began to overwhelm him. He describes becoming instantly and profoundly aware that each of his constituent atoms were connected to the fragile planet he saw in the window and to every other atom in the Universe. He described experiencing an intense awareness that Earth, with its humans, other animal species, and systems were all one synergistic whole. He says the feeling that rushed over him was a sense of interconnected euphoria. Rusty Schweikart experienced it on March 6th 1969 during a spacewalk outside his Apollo 9 vehicle: “When you go around the Earth in an hour and a half, you begin to recognize that your identity is with that whole thing. This is done with Faraday cages.

Ever wondered why Mars is red? One scientists thinks he knows By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: 22:51 GMT, 2 April 2011 Mars has not always been red. At least that is the theory proposed by a scientist who has discovered a reason as to how the red planet got its rosy colour. According to Dr John Brandednberg, about 180 million years ago, a planet-shattering yet naturally occurring nuclear reaction may have wiped out everything on Mars, sending a shockwave that turned the planet into dry sand. Surface: Mars is covered with a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium He told Fox News: 'The Martian surface is covered with a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium - and this pattern radiates from a hot spot on Mars. 'A nuclear explosion could have sent debris all around the planet. 'Maps of gamma rays on Mars show a big red spot that seems like a radiating debris pattern ... on the opposite side of the planet there is another red spot.'

VEDIC SOCIETY - UTTARA BHADRAPADA Ayurveda Ayurveda (Devanagari: आयुर्वेद ) or ayurvedic medicine is a form of alternative medicine in use primarily in the Indian subcontinent. The word "Ayurveda" is a tatpurusha compound of āyus "life" and veda "knowledge", and would roughly translate as the "Science of Life". Ayurveda deals with the measures of healthy living, along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony. Ayurveda is also one among the few traditional systems of medicine involving surgery. Bhu Mata The ancient Vedic sages viewed the Earth[Bhu Matha - Mother Earth] as a divine goddess, a being who had feelings and consciousness, and who responded to our prayers and actions. Eternal Truth Jyotish Jyotisha (jyotiṣa, in Hindi and English usage Jyotish) is the Hindu system of astrology, one of the six disciplines of Vedanta, and regarded as one of the oldest schools of ancient astrology to have had an independent origin, affecting all other schools in and around India. Teachers

Snow White: a Distant Icy World | Astronomy Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered that the dwarf planet 2007 OR10 — nicknamed Snow White — is an icy world, with about half its surface covered in water ice that once flowed from ancient, slush-spewing volcanoes. The new findings also suggest that the red-tinged dwarf planet may be covered in a thin layer of methane, the remnants of an atmosphere that’s slowly being lost into space. ‘You get to see this nice picture of what once was an active little world with water volcanoes and an atmosphere, and it’s now just frozen, dead, with an atmosphere that’s slowly slipping away,’ says Mike Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor and professor of planetary astronomy, who is the lead author on a paper to be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters describing the findings. An artist's conception of Snow White 2007 OR10 (NASA) As expected, Snow White was red.

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