In a paper published this month in the Astrophysical Journal, scientists from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission announced the discovery of a ring of energetic neutral atoms. The evidence currently supports the theory that “particles from the solar wind that escape the solar system are met ~100 astronomical units (~15 billion kilometers) away by an interstellar magnetic field.” This interstellar magnetic field then slings the particles “right back where they came from.” The scientists conclude that “if this mechanism is correct–and not everyone agrees–then the shape of the ribbon is telling us a lot about the orientation of the magnetic field in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy.” To learn more about these IBEX results go here.
– The Interstellar Boundery Explorer is on its way to explore the Solar Systems final frontier. Is Pluto a Planet? Follow the debate. For more information on IBEX and the great Pluto debate check out my Blog.
– Katie Moore from the U.S. National Air and Space Museum tells asks us all about the World Wide Star Count. Send Katie an e-mail and tell us what you saw. firstname.lastname@example.org. Katie will also update us on our November sky.