Washington, June 10: Scientists have found that the edge of our solar system may not be smooth, but filled with a turbulent sea of magnetic bubbles- thanks to NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, humanity’s farthest deep space sentinels.
While using a new computer model to analyze Voyager data, they found that the sun’s distant magnetic field is made up of bubbles approximately 100 million miles wide.
The bubbles are created when magnetic field lines reorganize. The new model suggests the field lines are broken up into self-contained structures disconnected from the solar magnetic field.
“The sun’s magnetic field extends all the way to the edge of the solar system,” said astronomer Merav Opher of Boston University.
“Because the sun spins, its magnetic field becomes twisted and wrinkled, a bit like a ballerina’s skirt. Far, far away from the sun, where theoyagers are, the folds of the skirt bunch up,” he said.
Understanding the structure of the sun’s magnetic field will allow scientists to explain how galactic cosmic rays enter our solar system and help define how the star interacts with the rest of the galaxy.
The findings were published in the June 9 edition of the Astrophysical Journal. (ANI)