Visualizing the Heliosphere, Our Solar System’s Protective Bubble
BU astrophysicist Merav Opher will lead a NASA-funded center on a mission to understand the shape and size of the heliosphere
To understand the heliosphere, a cosmic force that astrophysicists believe protects us from powerful radiation emanating from the universe, imagine an enormous bubble surrounding the sun. The bubble is so large that it extends well beyond our solar system, and it zooms through space along with the sun. No one really knows the shape of the heliosphere, or for that matter, the size of it.
Astrophysicists do know that inside the heliosphere there is a constant storm of heated and charged particles that emanate from the sun. They also know that outside the heliosphere, deep space is peppered with deadly cosmic rays. And they believe that the skin of the heliosphere acts as a shield, blocking most of those rays and protecting everything inside the bubble, most important, life on Earth.
Read the full article here: