At the edge of the solar system — a change

At the edge of the solar system - a changeAmerican scientists have discovered that the "node" in an unusual ribbon on the border of our solar system began "untied."

"Feed" entered the lexicon of astronomers year ago, when using satellite IBEX obtained the first detailed maps of the heliosphere — the region whose state differs from the state of interstellar space, the sun is responsible for it. Charged particles from the solar system and interstellar space, and are each on its side of the border of the system — the heliopause. On the shape and behavior of the heliopause, "breathable" under the influence of the interstellar wind and driven partly interstellar magnetic field, depends on "space weather" in the entire solar system. This sort of "wall", which can be overcome only neutral particles are formed when the heliopause in the solar wind protons take away electrons from atoms of interstellar gas and creating the so-called energetic neutral atoms. Neutral atoms scatter in different directions at high speeds (40 to 1000 km / s).

A year ago, a major surprise for the researchers was that the whole "bubble" heliosphere girt giant "ribbon", from which come the most extensive and rapid flows of energetic neutral atoms. First map, obtained satellite IBEX, in the northern part of the tape was discovered element, similar to the site. Set apart from the rest of the tape, it looks brighter than it — it means that of the "host" come neutral atoms with higher energy.

At the edge of the solar system - a changeThe second map, obtained recently, has a new puzzle. It showed that the overall structure of tape remains fairly stable, but in an unusual "knot" a decrease in the radiation of atoms — the "node" has decreased by a third and appears to "untie."

Scientists disagree about the origin of the "host" and the tape on the edge of the solar system, but it is now clear that this area of the solar system has changed dramatically in a relatively short period of time. Now we have to find out why.

Alexander Ilyin

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