posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 11:57 AM
October 19, 2009
Space isn't empty. It's full of radiation, interplanetary/stellar/galactic medium, microwaves from the very beginning of time and even impossible
virtual particles popping in and out so fast we're not even sure they're there. Nothing gets across the scale of this stuff like the heliopause: the
place where the solar system's "atmosphere" ends and true interstellar space begins.
NASA's IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer, not the mountain goat) has mapped the outer edges of the solar system over six months, collecting
otherwise undetectable data to describe the edge of our neighborhood. Of course the solar system doesn't really have an "atmosphere", but the
"heliosphere" is the next best thing - the region where particles flowing out from the sun dominate over the interstellar medium.
What does it mean that the solar system doesn't really have an "atmosphere, it either does or doesn't.