News / Science & Technology

NASA IBEX Finds Mismatch Between Solar System, Galactic Space

The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from NASA's Great Observatories - the Chandra X-ray Observatory [blue], the Hubble Space Telescope [gold and brown]), and the Spitzer Space Telescope
The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from NASA's Great Observatories - the Chandra X-ray Observatory [blue], the Hubble Space Telescope [gold and brown]), and the Spitzer Space Telescope

The U.S. space agency, NASA, says its Interstellar Boundary Explorer [IBEX] mission is showing scientists that the galactic environment is much different than the one inside the solar system.

The one-meter wide IBEX probe was launched into high Earth orbit in 2008. Its mission is to make discoveries about the interactions between the [heliosphere] boundary that protects our solar system, and the [interstellar] material contained in the galactic wind.  

NASA says the chemical mismatch indicated in the IBEX data could mean the solar system evolved in a separate part of our Milky Way galaxy than its current position. The solar system is constantly moving through space, and completes one orbit around the center of the galaxy once every 225 million years.   

NASA says IBEX observations are providing new clues about how and where the solar system formed some 5 billion years ago; and how the heliosphere changes size and shape as it travels through the galaxy.

Scientists say expanding our understanding of how the heliosphere protects the solar system is critical to planning future human space travel beyond the Earth.

Six separate reports on the IBEX observations are published in the Astrophysics Journal.

The IBEX spacecraft has been collecting and measuring interstellar particles since 2009. The tiny eight-sided probe is only about the size of a bus tire. It orbits the Earth every eight days from an altitude of about 325,000 kilometers, or 5/6 the distance to the Moon. That may seem like a lot for an orbiting satellite, but the distance pales in comparison to the 14 billion kilometers between IBEX and the heliosphere boundary the probe observes.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid