We could live in a giant croissant-shaped bubble in space, scientists say. Now it’s NASA

We all live in a bubble in space. If that’s news to you, it shouldn’t be. A few years ago, I wrote about the amazing discovery by a team of astronomers led by Boston University that helio-sphere– a vast area around the Sun that stretches more than twice as far from Pluto – now it really should be called helio-crescent moon. Why? Because it’s in the shape of a croissant!

NASA has just announced a new five-year grant to allow scientists to advance their groundbreaking work and explore how the sun affects and shapes the solar system. The $ 12 million space agency investment will be deployed to nine new heliosphere research centers at universities across the United States

The heliosphere as a croissant is an amazing concept, but it is gaining strength. Imagine a comet whistling through space with its tail trailing behind it. This is what astronomers thought our solar system was, its heliosphere extending behind it as it orbits the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

A stretched bladder? Could be. How much? That is not clear. The study of the heliosphere is a top science because not much is known about it. Here’s what astronomers know:

  • Inside the heliosphere there is a constant storm of heated and charged particles coming from the Sun.
  • The heliosphere bubble protects life on Earth from destructive cosmic rays coming from supernovae.
  • This is the realm of the universe commanded by the Sun; its sphere of influence and the range of the solar wind – charged particles emitted by the Sun – that extends far beyond the orbits of the planets.
  • At the edges of the heliosphere is where the solar wind meets the interstellar wind.
  • It casts a magnetic field of force around all the planets, repelling charged particles that would otherwise enter the solar system … and destroy DNA. Or mutate it, which could have created us.

Researchers studying exoplanets want to compare the solar heliosphere with the heliosphere around other stars.

Known as the SHIELD model, a solar wind with hydrogen ion exchange and large-scale dynamics setting the theory of croissants was developed by 40 astrophysicists led by Merava Opher, chief researcher at SHIELD DRIVE Science Center and a professor at Boston University School of Arts and Sciences. astronomy.

“We are increasingly realizing the importance of the heliosphere for life on Earth, as well as for what the climate was like on Earth,” Opher said. “But right now, what we understand from the heliosphere, there is a missing source of energy – and we don’t know what it is. That means something inside the heliosphere is producing energy. ”

New NASA-funded research will help the SHIELD team create a “digital twin” heliosphere for:

  • Enable better future exploration of the solar system.
  • Tell us more about how the changing gas cloud through which our solar system moves affects life on Earth.
  • Help us find another life in our Milky Way galaxy.

I wish you clear skies and wide eyes.

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