Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Heliosphere (This Is Exciting Stuff!!!)

The Heliosphere is often described as a kind of bubble that contains our solar system. This magnetic sphere, which extends beyond Pluto, is caused by the Sun’s solar winds.
 
These winds spread out from the Sun at around 400 km/s until they hit what is known as interstellar space, which is also called local interstellar medium (LISM) or interstellar gas. Interstellar space is the space in galaxies that is unoccupied by either stars or planets.
 
When the solar winds hit local interstellar medium, a kind of bubble forms that prevents certain material from getting in. Thus, the heliosphere acts as a kind of shield that protects our solar system from cosmic rays, which are dangerous interstellar particles.
 
The Voyager Spacecraft have actively explored the outer reaches of the heliosphere, passing through the shock and entering the heliosheath, a transitional region which is in turn bounded by the outermost edge of the heliosphere, called the heliopause.
 
The heliopause is what separates the heliosphere and the interstellar gas outside the solar system. This is where the final frontier begins.
 

23 comments:

  1. This is indeed exciting stuff! I love that the Voyager spacecraft are entering the final frontier.

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  2. I'm sure it's now covered in solar particles...

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  3. Voyager is certainly making a very long trip. Steve, you make science so simple to understand.

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  4. That IS exciting stuff. So much to learn, so little time.

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  5. Until we develop a shield system for starships, there really is no point in deep space travel. Thanks to Voyager, we now know that space isn't as "empty" as previous sci-fi movies have depicted. Think of all the stuff floating around out there! :)

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  6. That one is new for me and certainly exciting to learn.

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  7. Stephen, you have far surpassed my knowledge about all things out of this planet earth. Wonderful theme with so much shared each day!

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  8. I love to throw out these terms. I get such strange looks.

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  9. So, to go any further we have to design space craft which can withstand cosmic rays. But - does that preclude life existing outside the heliosphere? Or does it mean it will be an entirely different life form?

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  10. Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge! Interesting facts:)

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  11. So cool. Glad something is keeping those cosmic rays out. Don't some of them get through.

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  12. I feel smarter already. (That or completely lost. ;)

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  13. I learned something, and got to visit V'Ger, as well. What a perfect post for a Trekkie nerd! =)

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  14. very cool and interesting. My boss plans to go up in space via Richard Branson's project. Don't think he'll be going out beyond Pluto.
    Happy A to Z

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  15. That is interesting. How long have scientists known about the heliospheres? It wasn't something I learned about in high school science, but then again, astronomy wasn't offered.

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  16. Oh, to explore the final frontier. Wouldn't that be amazing! You're teaching us a lot about some very interesting things, Stephen. I for one am really enjoying this journey.

    M. J.
    A - Z Co-Host
    http://mjjoachim.blogspot.com
    http://effectivelyhuman.blogspot.com
    http://lotsofcrochetstitches.blogspot.com

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  17. Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge - great series and appropriate with the new Cosmos series on.

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  18. I will sleep better tonight knowing the Heliosphere is on guard.

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  19. I can't believe I'm actually learning science while surfing the net! LOL

    Wonderful!

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  20. Hi Stephen .. I don't think I'd realised this before - how interesting that there's a shield protecting the sun and its world, us included.

    Fascinating .. cheers Hilary

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  21. I love this idea and had no knowledge of this before your description. Thanks for sharing....

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