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Space Science

Giant Ribbon Discovered At Edge of Solar System 251

Posted by kdawson
from the gift-wrapped dept.
beadwindow writes "NASA's IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft has made the first all-sky maps of the heliosphere and the results have taken researchers by surprise. The maps are bisected by a bright, winding ribbon of unknown origin: 'This is a shocking new result,' says IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. 'We had no idea this ribbon existed — or what has created it. Our previous ideas about the outer heliosphere are going to have to be revised.' Another NASA scientist notes, '"This ribbon winds between the two Voyager spacecraft and was not observed by either of them.'"
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Giant Ribbon Discovered At Edge of Solar System

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  • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation@ g m a i l . c om> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @07:08PM (#29780695) Journal

    Long delayed echoes (LDEs) are radio echoes which return to the sender several seconds after a radio transmission has occurred.

    Unless someone has discovered faster than light communications, probably not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @08:12PM (#29780991)

    Are you trolling or just stupid? That ribbon lies in the plane that goes through our sun and is perpendicular to the axis of the magnetic field. The actual distance of the ribbon to our sun doesn't matter. You could fit any wiggly rope into that plane and it would be perpendicular to the axis of the magnetic field. That's how "perpendicular" works in 3D.

  • Re:Tag this (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:27PM (#29781735)

    Negative. Tag this nexus!

    '"This ribbon winds between the two Voyager spacecraft and was not observed by either of them.'"

    Or the birth of V'ger

  • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:17AM (#29782051) Journal

    Could this be the cause of the Long-delayed echoes?

    No, LDEs are are due to radio signals being trapped in an ionospheric/magnetospheric ionization duct. These are one to two kilometer diameter "tubes" of of low electron density that are aligned with the earth's magnetic field lines and extend from the F-region of the ionosphere in one hemisphere to the F-region in the opposite hemisphere. Radio signals originating in one hemisphere travel along one of these ducts and then are reflected off the top side of the ionosphere in the other hemisphere. They then travel back along the duct to the place of origin, resulting in the long-delayed echo.

    There's a pretty good article (from which I lifted most of this information) on this phenomenon in the November 2009 issue of QST magazine.

    KJ6BSO

  • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Informative)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @05:18AM (#29782835) Homepage

    We can pretty much rule out the biblical Judeo god (christianity, islam and judaism) because theres a LOT of claims about reality that contradict science (7 day creation, 6000 years old, giant wierd flood, space made of water, etc).

    Actually, when you read the Old Testament in the original Hebrew most of those contradictions disappear. They mostly came about in translations by trying to reuse existing Greek (then English) words (like water) for different concepts in the original. Ever heard about Moses' horns? Same phenomenon: inappropriate translation.

  • by osu-neko (2604) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @06:03AM (#29782999)
    The ribbon's orientation does not correspond to the ecliptic. There would have been no benefit to keeping either of the Voyagers in the ecliptic, and the disadvantage would be they'd both be given identical angles on the solar system, and one identical to the one we already have, rather than each having its own angle and one different from our own ecliptic-bound view. Also, the data we get regarding how gravity perturbs them as they move would be substantially less useful.
  • by osu-neko (2604) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @06:26AM (#29783059)

    o.O You're kidding, right?

    Just in case you're serious... No, that's not happening, and there's no need to "look into it", as we already know the distribution of the magnetic field of the Earth pretty well, and it's not doing what you describe. As to where things "get through and hit earth", it does happen and it's easily observable. Aurora are obvious, visible signs of such distortions of the magnetic field coming all the way down to intersect the Earth, which does happen... around the magnetic poles.

    Also, we understand fairly well what's going on in the Bermuda Triangle. It's factually well established that there are no more mysterious incidents within this area than within any other similarly sized area of the sea with similar traffic. However, incidents happening there get more hype because they happen there. It's a sociological phenomenon that requires no appeal to strange physics, geoscience, or the like. Indeed, if there was something strange going on there, one would expect a greater than average incidence of missing ships, airplanes, etc. But in fact, there are not. The only thing unusual about the Bermuda Triangle is the amount of stories that come out of it.

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