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4 November 2015

A few days ago we had Ibex carved on stone at Sirwah in Yemen (animals) but today we have the NASA mission IBEX. At www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ibex/news/nooxbowshock.html … this news from NASA goes back to May 2012 and concerns the IBEX mission. Information is being updated all the time. For instance, the problems of Voyager One as it negotiates a way of the heliosphere.

In  2012 the report was that space scientists have accepted the principle that the bubble of gas and magnetic fields generated by the Sun, the heliosphere, moves through space and creates three distinct boundary layers that culminate in a outstretched bow shock. This shock is similar to the sonic boom created ahead of a supersonic jet. Earth as a bow shock on the sun ward site of its magnetic environment as seen on most other planets and many stars visible in modern telescopes. NASAs IBEX (boundary explorer) seems to be saying our Sun does not have a bow shock – which was a bit of a shock at the time.

In February 2014 it was thought Voyager One had crossed the heliosphere's boundary into space beyond but IBEX showed there was a ribbon along the boundary. They went on to show the heliosphere was very long – up to 2 billion miles. No wonder Voyager One is taking so long to break through. See www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/ibex-points-position-of-magnetic-system-bey…

In March 2015 the headline is 'Two solar winds in the Heliosphere NASA funded study finds' – where it says the boundary seems to look a lot like a crescent moon – or a croissant.It is dominated by two giant streams of material backwards over the north and south poles of the Sun, which are confined by interaction of the Sun's magnetic field with the interstellar magnetic field. These closed in two fairly short tails towards the back – hence the analogy of the croissant (with curved lobes). See also www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/two-solar-wind-jets-found-in-heliosphere

On October 20th 2015 we had the news it will take Voyager One ten years more to pass through the boundary of the heliosphere – see www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/ibex-paints-picture-of-magnetic-boundary-be…

We may compare this with a NASA IBEX conference back in 2007 when scientists on the project were scratching their heads as IBEX has revealed a number of problems at the boundary, entirely unexpected. A video of this conference has been going the rounds recently with the object of showing consensus scientists dumb struck at what they had found and unable, at the time, to make much sense of what was going on. It is still a moot point but another 8 years of observation have led to greater insights. In other words the IBEX findings do not conform to mainstream models of the heliosphere and they were forced to remodel – and this is a project in progress. There is another problem aired at the conference. What happens when the solar system crosses a dense area of a galactic arm as the heliosphere would have to contract and become smaller. The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AMXadA6HXk

These links don't seem to work as they are – go to www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ibex.html … but even this links doesn't work. Instead, go to mission pages and scroll down to IBEX page and the news items will be in sequence.


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