In 2009, using NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, Also known as IBEX, astronomers have discovered a strange ribbon structure dancing between our solar system and other interstellar spaces.
The discovery of IBEX Ribbon is invisible to telescopes and human eyes. This is the first time scientists have tried to learn more about our heliosphere-a bubble-like barrier made up of solar wind.
“Most instruments that detect particles in space are detecting charged particles,” said Daniel Reisenfeld, A senior scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and the lead author of the study. But IBEX is unique.
It detects high-energy neutral atoms or ENA-ions that originally came out of the sun but collided with interstellar electrons and neutralized them. These atoms can be seen everywhere in space, and observing ENA flux over time is a powerful imaging tool.
So what exactly is that mysterious ribbon? Since then, scientists have determined that what they see is a large swath of ENA that illuminates the night sky.
Using the data collected by IBEX on ENA, because it mapped an 11-year solar cycle, the time between changes in the solar magnetic field, the researchers constructed a 3D map of the entire heliosphere, which Reisenfeld said could protect the earth and other planets from Exposure to harmful radiation.
“Our earth has been bombarded by cosmic rays and galactic cosmic rays,” he said. These rays can subtly affect aircraft flying near polar regions, usually during travel between Europe or Asia and the United States.
Scientists say that to study the celestial layer of other planets, that is, the heliosphere surrounding other stars, we must first understand our own celestial layer.
“Many of the physical models currently under development are based on the findings of the IBEX mission,” said Nikolai Pogorelov Professor of Space Science, University of Alabama Huntsville. “This is not only experimental,” he said, adding that it “will be used [a] The real purpose. “