ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "heliosphere"

Life, Unbounded

Don’t Panic, It’s Just A Solar Field Reversal!

Magnetic field lines from active solar regions are drawn over an ultraviolet light image of the Sun (SDO/NASA, K. Schrijver & A. Title, Lockheed Martin)

At any moment the great cocoon of unseen magnetic fields and particle radiation that surrounds the Earth and all other major planets is going to experience a change of polarity. More specifically, the Sun’s polar magnetic field – its magnetic north and south – is going to reverse. This flip happens at solar maximum, the [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Voyager Has Entered The Interstellar Medium

pia17462-640

                After many claims and statements over the past few years that Voyager 1, our most distant operating spacecraft, has ‘left the solar system’ (it hasn’t, as I explain here), it does now seem that as of August 2012 this extraordinary vehicle has entered the interstellar medium. This [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Satellite Gets First Look at Sun’s Tail

The heliosphere

Astronomers just got their first good look in the solar system’s rearview mirror. What they see is a magnetic tail that twists like a corkscrew. Although we tend to think of the sun as stationary with the planets orbiting about it, in fact the solar system is plowing through the galaxy at a million miles [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Voyager 1 Returns Surprising Data about an Unexplored Region of Deep Space

Voyager 1

About the Voyager 1 spacecraft, this much is clear: the NASA probe has traveled farther than any other. Voyager 1 is now more than 18.5 billion kilometers from the sun—almost 125 times the distance between Earth and the sun. The spacecraft, one of two Voyagers launched by NASA in 1977, is truly in unexplored territory—so [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Voyager 1′s Whereabouts: No News, but Plenty of Noise

Voyager 1 and the solar system

Tracking the location of the Voyager 1 spacecraft can be exhausting for a science journalist, and I can only imagine how confusing it gets for the interested reader. The relevant question pertaining to Voyager 1’s location is this: Has the venerable NASA spacecraft exited the heliosphere, the sun’s plasma cocoon in space, and crossed into [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Holiday Sale

Give a Gift &
Get a Gift - Free!

Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99

Subscribe Now! >

X

Email this Article

X