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Space Science

NASA Finds Interstellar Matter From Beyond Our Solar System 75

An anonymous reader writes "For the very first time, a NASA spacecraft has detected matter from outside our solar system — material that came from elsewhere in the galaxy. This so-called interstellar material was spotted by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), a spacecraft that is studying the edge of the solar system from its orbit about 200,000 miles (322,000 kilometers) above Earth. 'This alien interstellar material is really the stuff that stars and planets and people are made of — it's really important to be measuring it,' said David McComas, IBEX principal investigator."
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NASA Finds Interstellar Matter From Beyond Our Solar System

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  • Same atoms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:35AM (#38889495)

    What makes this material different from that of our solar system? It's got the same kind of atoms. And why do they say *that* material is what we're made from? As far as I'm aware, we're made from the material of *our* solar system, not that of another.

  • Re:Same atoms (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gmrath ( 751453 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @08:52AM (#38889969)

    How does this spacecraft find "interstellar matter from beyond our solar system" at a distance of 200,000 miles above the Earth while the Voyagers have found what at how many billions of miles from the sun? Differences in instrumentation? Wouldn't one expect any remaining interstellar matter to be cleared by the solar wind long ago given the range of 200 kMiles? Just asking.

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