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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Interstellar Wind’s Shifting Direction Opens Up Study Of Larger Implications

Analyzing the course of Interstellar Winds for last forty years researchers have found it has changed direction over time, showing larger implications than we may realize.

Interstellar Wind is basically stream of charged particles that comes from outside solar system. It is different from the solar wind that many of us are familiar of, which is emitted from the sun and goes beyond our solar system.


Studying data from the 1970′s onward from 11 different satellites, scientists found the Interstellar Wind have changed direction by about 6 degrees. The data were pulled from United States Department of Defense Space Test Program 72-1, SOLRAD 11B, NASA’s Mariner, Soviet Prognoz 6, and newer platforms like NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE).

Similar to the magnetic field of the Earth that shield the Solar Winds, the Sun too has a magnetic field that protects it from the Interstellar Winds. While the Earth is bombarded from one direction by the Solar Wind, the Interstellar Wind shifts its direction and this indicates the Solar System is subjected to a galactic turbulence. This may also result in heliosphere distortation.

Scientists say our Solar System is in the outer arm of the galaxy and hence it may experience more turbulence from Interstellar Winds and other outside forces.

Apart from the philosophical implications, the data collected from last few decades offers to scientists a beginning point to hypothesize and experiment how the Solar System and our galaxy moves as a whole. The study also indicates the position of our solar system has been changed in the galaxy. It opens up the study of larger universal dance of movement too.

Source: http://www.pentagonpost.com/

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