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Solar system has trailing tail, just like comet

nasa astronomy ibex heliosphere

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#1 Hum

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 22:41

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (AP) — NASA can prove it now. Our solar system has a tail, just like comets.

Scientists revealed images Wednesday showing the tail emanating from the bullet-shaped region of space under the grip of the sun, including the solar system and beyond. The region is known as the heliosphere, thus the name heliotail.

The findings are based on data from by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX. The Earth-orbiting spacecraft was launched in 2008.

Scientists always presumed the heliosphere had a tail, but this provides the first real data on the shape.

Chief IBEX investigator David McComas, who's with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, says it's difficult to calculate the length of the heliotail. But the evaporating end of the tail could stretch 100 billion miles.

The findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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#2 Praetor

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 22:43

and what is the cause of the tail?



#3 FrancoisC

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 22:48

Probably the fact that our solar system is not "standing still" in our galaxy/universe..?



#4 OP Hum

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 22:49

and what is the cause of the tail?

The black hole, sucking us in. :shifty:



#5 DocM

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 23:19

Solar wind particles and other debris streaming off the trailing side as we move through interstellar gas and dust - a sort of galactic wind. There's also a bow shock at the leading side.

Model of Sol's tail
startail.png

Other systems (real)
IBEX-Reveals-First-View-of-the-Solar-Sys

#6 Praetor

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:26

this is the answer i was looking for, thanks DocM!

 

Solar wind particles and other debris streaming off the trailing side as we move through interstellar gas and dust - a sort of galactic wind. There's also a bow shock at the leading side.