(ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers have discovered strange ripples in a piece of space at the edge of the solar system.
The group describes an analysis of data from Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, as well as from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), which aims to study the characteristics of the solar systems.
Previous research has shown that there is a point at the edges of the solar system where the solar wind slows down to the speed at which sound can propagate the termination shock.
Scientists also found that there is a point at which the solar wind becomes unable to withstand the pressure exerted by interstellar space – the heliopause.
Both Voyager space probes crossed this boundary and entered interstellar space. When this happened, they sent data from the sensors to Earth.
After analyzing data from all three sources, the scientists noted the sudden change in pressure generated by the solar wind in 2014 and used the relatively short time scale of the event to study.
They measured the charged neutral atoms that appeared when the solar wind collided with the interstellar wind.
Because some atoms managed to escape into interstellar space, while others were flung back into the solar system, the researchers were able to use the data as a form of space echolocation.
Using computer simulations, the scientists found that huge ripples formed in the border areas.
Astrophysicists have also detected shifts in the distance to the heliopause. Experts suggested that its shape was heterogeneous and changed for unknown reasons.
The researchers hope to learn more about the solar system’s boundary using data from a new probe, scheduled to launch in 2025, that will be able to transmit measurements of neutral atom emissions with higher accuracy.
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