The Solar System’s Outskirts Features Unusual Ripples

The Solar System’s Outskirts Features Unusual Ripples
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The Sun accounts for over 99% of the Solar System’s total mass. This means that astronomers may uncover a lot of interesting information about our cosmic vicinity if they just focus on studying our star.

But even if scientists focus too much on the Solar System’s core, they might miss something that’s happening on the other extremity. According to ScienceAlert, a spacecraft orbiting our planet has revealed data indicating the presence of ripple structures located at the outskirts of our Solar System.

Wrinkles in the ‘bubble’ surrounding the Solar System?

Astronomers now suspect that the so-called ‘bubble’ surrounding our Solar System features wrinkles. Scientists have known for a pretty long time that the Solar System is located almost in the middle of the Local Bubble, meaning an empty region of space that stretches 1000-light-years-wide. The existence of this region has baffled scientists.

Astronomers are now justified in hoping to uncover more information regarding the heliosphere. 

For the new study, the researchers wrote:

In late 2014, the solar wind dynamic pressure increased by roughly 50% over a period of 6 months, causing a time and directional-dependent rise in around 2–6 keV energetic neutral atom fluxes from the heliosphere observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer. Here, we use the 2014 pressure enhancement to provide a simultaneous derivation of the three-dimensional heliospheric termination shock (HTS) and heliopause (HP) distances at high resolution from Interstellar Boundary Explorer measurements

The Solar System is home to eight planets, five dwarf planets, over 200 moons, more than 822,000 asteroids, and God knows how many comets. Most of the major planets of our Solar System have moons (aka natural satellites) orbiting around them. While our planet has only one (the well-known Moon), Jupiter and Saturn, meaning the biggest planets in the Solar System, have around 80 moons each.

The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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