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Astronomers get first look ever at our solar system's tail

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posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 06:37 PM
This was just published today. Another new astronomy model for the text books. It's the "bubble" that is around "our" solar system.

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 Wednesday.
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."

Published on Jul 10, 2013

NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, recently mapped the boundaries of the solar system's tail, called the heliotail. By combining observations from the first three years of IBEX imagery, scientists have mapped out a tail that shows a combination of fast and slow moving particles. The entire structure twisted, because it experiences the pushing and pulling of magnetic fields outside the solar system.

link to main story source

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 07:12 PM
woooowww nice sir..i am very like space thing..great find..imagine there is million galaxy out there..we just like a bactery in the space..God is great

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:05 PM
The last bit of narration in the video...

"…the comet-like tail streaming out from it."

Musings from my mind:
Comet-like tail, eh? Are comets tiny solar systems? Is our Solar System their galaxy?
That would be some fractal magic at its finest!

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 12:13 AM
reply to post by RUFFREADY

I wonder, would it ever be possible to see this effect on other stars?

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 08:51 AM
reply to post by windsorblue

Yes. Not to clear as in the films animation. But, indeed its been seen in our galaxy.

We have seen similar tails in pictures of speeding stars elsewhere in the galaxy. But until now it has been hard to see for sure what our own sun's tail might look like.|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|space#. Ud63A5jD_5o

August 15, 2007: Astronomers using a NASA space telescope, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, have spotted an amazingly long comet-like tail behind a star streaking through space. The star, named Mira after the Latin word for "wonderful," has been a favorite of astronomers for about 400 years, yet this is the first time the tail has been seen.
Galaxy Evolution Explorer--"GALEX" for short--scanned the popular star during its ongoing survey of the entire sky in ultraviolet light. Astronomers then noticed what looked like a comet with a gargantuan tail. In fact, material blowing off Mira is forming a wake 13 light-years long, or about 20,000 times the average distance of Pluto from the sun. Nothing like this has ever been seen before around a star.

"I was shocked when I first saw this completely unexpected, humongous tail trailing behind a well-known star," says Christopher Martin of the California Institute of Technology. "It was amazing how Mira's tail echoed on vast, interstellar scales the familiar phenomena of a jet's contrail or a speedboat's turbulent wake." Martin is the principal investigator for the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, and lead author of a Nature paper appearing today to announce the discovery.
Star with a comets tail

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 09:03 AM
Very cool!

That's extremely impressive! It never gets old to me, the amazing things we have/can accomplish. I bet all other star systems have unique tails, like fingerprints. It is also very cool IBEX made a few other discoveries along it's journey, at the end of the article.

IBEX has made several other important discoveries throughout its mission. In 2010, the spacecraft looked back toward Earth and got the first-ever glimpse of the solar wind crashing into the planet's magnetosphere. Last year, NASA announced that the spacecraft made its first detection of matter from outside the solar system, finding alien particles of hydrogen, oxygen and neon in the interstellar wind.

I do have to say, they ATS'er in me makes me wonder what are the other "several" important discoveries that may have been discovered??

*cue spooky music*

Thank you for posting! S&F

edit on 7/11/2013 by mcx1942 because: bad typer

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:27 AM
It seems many things in motion have tails...from the well known comets tail, to the earths magnetotail I learned about a few years ago, and now come to find out, our solar system has one, too! I feel like I just found out everyone in my family isn't human except for me! What's next, I find out my girlfriend has been hiding a tail too? Hmmm, I wonder if galaxies have tails... Or black holes have em... Weird.

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:41 AM
Isn't this old news? I mean we've all suspected the solar system had a tail for decades??
/snowden joke

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 06:50 PM
Hey, thanks for sharing. This is pretty awesome. It is exciting to learn all of the new things we're picking up from space. Someone told me today that they had discovered radio waves coming out of black holes?

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 08:39 PM
reply to post by Aqadux

Mystery radio bursts blamed on black hole 'blitzars'

MYSTERIOUS radio bursts from the distant cosmos are revealing their true nature. They may be the death cries of a collapsing neutron star being severed from its magnetic field as it turns into a black hole.

When a star gets to be greater than 8 solar masses it will collapse into a black hole ( a black hole of one million solar masses ...)

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 08:56 PM
a tail leaves a trail. too bad they didnt say which direction it's headed. towards the milky way, away from the milky way, spiralling or orbitting the milky way? where that tail points is where we come from as we hurtle thru space.

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 09:18 PM
I'm more amazed by the amount of space, that is effected by our Sun, which is a tiny one.Especially if you compare the size of the Sun and the space it effects.

posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 01:34 AM
What is amazing to me is the fact that we know about this stuff, and we are concerned about how "god" feels about gays getting married. We need to stop being ridiculous and pour all our energy and technologies into the exploration of space. more technology, more research more money. Lets get off this rock.

posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 02:09 AM
Why wouldn't it look a lot like the magnetic field shielding solar winds around the earth on a much larger scale?

posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 01:22 PM

Originally posted by filledcup
a tail leaves a trail. too bad they didnt say which direction it's headed. towards the milky way, away from the milky way, spiralling or orbitting the milky way? where that tail points is where we come from as we hurtle thru space.

Most logical would be a trail poiting to where we came from as go around the galaxy center. I would found it more interesting to be it comet like, e.g. pointing away from the center. We could learn a lot about the center we know so little of.

posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 04:03 PM
Oh interesting... so one thing I noticed is that the tail shows the solar system actually moving in a specific speed and direction. This supports the original theory of Aether a bit - which said there were particles that set in place location.

I'm saying I am so used to calculating speeds relative to this or that that it is interesting to see there is an absolute speed and direction, even if it is only relevant to our galaxy.

In physics, for example, velocity is measured relative to the Earth - in other words, if you are going 60 mph, that is relevant to the Earth ground. But how fast are you going compared to the sun? Something like 100,000 kph?
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posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 05:54 PM
reply to post by new_here

What an interesting perspective. It makes sense when you think about how the micro and the macro of our universe resemble each other. Reminds of sacred geometry.

What a thought. We are living in a fractal universe, on of gods ( or whoever you choose) many artworks. What a time to be alive.

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