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Space

+ - Sun Leaves No Shock Wave in its Wake->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "The sun and all that surrounds it — us included — are having a slower ride through space than originally thought, new findings from a NASA satellite shows. Precise measurements of neutrally charged particles such as helium flowing into the solar system from interstellar space show the heliosphere — the region of space under the sun's influence — is moving at 52,000 mph relative to the outside environment. That's a change from 59,000 mph measured by NASA's now-defunct Ulysses spacecraft. That 7,000-mph difference may not sound like much, but the effect of the speed is squared.

"This reduction of 7,000 mph is a reduction of about 25 percent of the pressure pushing on the heliosphere that we thought was there is actually there," David McComas, lead scientist for NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, told Discovery News. The upshot is that no shock wave is being produced by the sun's heliosphere in the interstellar medium we're in now."

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Sun Leaves No Shock Wave in its Wake

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