Interplanetary probes Voyager, going beyond the solar system, flew in a strange area. Giant magnetic bubbles here to repel the attacks of interstellar cosmic rays.
Spacecraft Voyager, launched to the outer Solar System, scientists continue to present new surprises. Communication with the first and second unit still maintained, and the analysis of incoming data allows us to study the properties of the outer limits of the solar system and the interstellar medium.
Like the Earth, the Sun has a north and south magnetic poles. The magnetic field lines penetrate the solar system and stretched by the solar wind. Abroad heliosphere solar wind there is a growing pressure of interstellar gas, which it slows down. The area in which the charged particles from the sun completely stopped, called the boundary of the shock wave.
The folds in the field
"Because of the rotation of the Sun that its magnetic field becomes twisted and wrinkled, like a ballerina skirt. Far from the Sun, there is now the "Voyager", these are going to the accordion folds "- said astrophysicist Merav Opher (Merav Opher) Boston University (Boston University).
In 2007, this area flew the first device, a year later — the second. Passing close to each other, the external magnetic fields short, as well as in the fields of solar flares. Reconnection, the field lines form a stable three-dimensional formation, similar to the bubbles. Bubbles of the size — about 160 million kilometers. "We never expected to find such a foam at the edge of the solar system, but it's there!" — Said University of Maryland physicist Jim Drake.
It turned out that the region of the magnetic foam — the first obstacle to high-energy particles that penetrate the interstellar space, and flying to the sun. Accelerated near the distant black holes supernova explosions, the particles on the way to the Sun must overcome the obstacle — a magnetic field. "Magnetic bubbles — our first line of defense against cosmic rays" — added Mr. Ofer. The work of scientists published in Astrophysical Journal.