There is a “hydrogen wall” at the edge of our solar system, and NASA scientists think that their New Horizons spacecraft can see.
Hydrogen wall is the outer boundary of our home system, the place where the sun is the largest of the solar wind ends and where a mass of interstellar matter is too small to bust through the wind builds up, the pressures from within. Our star is the powerful jets of matter and flow of energy to the outside for a long stretch after leaving the sun far beyond the orbit of Pluto. But at a certain point, they peter, and their ability to push back the pieces of cloth and other fabrics, the thin, mysterious things floating in our milky way walls — wanes. A visible boundary forms. On the one hand, are the last remnants of the solar wind. And on the other hand, in the direction of the Sun’s movement through the galaxy, there is a build-up of interstellar matter, including hydrogen.
And now NASA researchers are pretty sure that New Horizons, the probe which is famous skimmed past Pluto in 2015, to see that border.
What New Horizons certainly see, the researchers reported in an article published Aug. 7 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a number of additional ultraviolet light of the type of the researchers would expect this to be a wall of the galactic hydrogen to produce. That an echo is of an ultraviolet signal from the two Voyager spacecraft — NASA’s farthest-traveling probes, which began in the late 1970s — spotted that already in 1992. [Images: the dust icles from Interstellar Space]
However, the researchers warned, though, that signal is not a sure sign that New Horizons has seen the hydrogen wall, or that Voyager did. All three probes could actually discover the ultraviolet light from a different source, coming from a much deeper in the milky way, the researchers wrote.
But Alice instrument aboard New Horizons is responsible for this finding is much more sensitive than what the Passengers had for the beginning of their own journey out of the solar system, the researchers wrote. And they said that they expect that Alice feature 15 to 20 years.
New Horizons will continue to scan the sky for ultraviolet light twice a year, the researchers wrote, and a report of what he sees back to Earth.
“As the ultraviolet light drops off at a certain point, then New Horizons can have the wall in his rear-view mirror,” the researchers explained in an accompanying statement. “But if the light that never fades, then the source may be further ahead — coming from somewhere deeper in the room.”
Originally published on Live Science.