back to article Astronomers unravel solar system's strange energy 'ribbon'

Astroboffins reckon they may have solved the mystery of the vast ribbon at the edge of our Solar System after three years of puzzling over it. Retention region shown around our heliosphere The mysterious band of energy and particles, first discovered by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) at the edge of the system in …

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Coat

Unwanted and pointless ribbon around solar system!

Microsoft deny responsibility.

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Happy

astroboffins

best word ever

that is all

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Coat

Re: astroboffins

Why not "skyentists"?

(With apologies to whoever I nicked that from!)

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Re: astroboffins

As last lines in a movie go, I always liked "I'm going to get you astro-bastards!" at the end of Bad Taste.

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Alien

Re: astroboffins

Now the astroboffins need to build some astro zombies.

That would be the best science project ever.

Alien icon 'cause that's what the astro zombies look like...

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It's the G'Tall tripwire

and since we triggered it four years ago they'll be here any day now to put the animals back in the zoo.

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404
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Perhaps...

... we can use this to power our star cruisers...

;)

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Pint

Typical

There is no menu on it!

Where do you click for File & Save As?

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Alien

Ringworld was just a minor project . . .

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So...

To summerise the earth has a magnetic field around it, probably in rough proportion to the size of the planet.

The sun also has an magnetic field around it, probably in rough proportion to the size of the constant, ongoing fusion explosion that is to bright too look at ten light minutes away.

Am I missing something or is this a bit uh, obvious? It's not like nobody has heard of EMP, and can't figure out that a constant fusion explosion would give a roughly constant EMF up until you have a solar flare at which point you would get a pulse over the usual background level.

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Boffin

Re: So...

I dont think you quite understood the story Peter.

Just outside of the Solar System (beyond the point where the Solar Wind stops) we have a "ribbon" where energetic particles collect. This hasnt been properly explained before. What this thesis does is attempt to explain the phenomenon by saying that this is caused by the particles being trapped by the distortion in the magentic field of the intestellar medium caused by the solar system passing through it. Its a very interetsing theory.

Your suggestion above, fails to acocunt for this ribbon (i.e. that its only a thin slice - hence the name "ribbon") and only describes what happens at the Heliopause.

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Mushroom

Am I the only one

Thinking Star Trek Generations? Or has everyone else blanked it from their memories?

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Happy

Re: Am I the only one

Star Trek... what?

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Re: Am I the only one

So, should I try to get into the Nexus then?

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Re: Am I the only one

"So, should I try to get into the Nexus then?"

That'll void your warranty, even if you did it in the name of science.

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Boffin

No, I understand that.

I'm just saying that the described effect appears to be about what you would reasonably expect from interactions with a frigging huge magnetic field and that it's obvious that the sun is going to generate a huge magnetic field.

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Anonymous Coward

Boats, Harbour ...

... don't anyone tell Lewis.

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Alien

@Graham Marsden

Nah, not the ribbon from Star Trek Generations. Instead its like the energy barrier from TOS where the crewman gets zapped during an unsuccessful attempt to transition the barrier and then develops god-like powers that inevitably and lethally go to his head and Kirk has to try to maroon him on an old mining colony. This of course results in an end-of-episode showdown where Kirk's shirt (as usual) gets ripped.

I want world peace, and a bikini model girlfriend, and a margarita on the rocks, and a pony.....

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Stop

Request

Please tell God he promised no banner ads..

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Anonymous Coward

99.999% plasma

Here is the pre-print of the paper in full: http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.1273

Since the visible universe is 99.999% plasma, and ALL moving plasmas generate magnetic fields, this is no surprise.

I suspect that this is the solar system version of the aurora.

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Alien

FSM Alternate?

Is this proof that we actually now have seen The Flying Tagliatelle Monster?

I for one, welcome, etc...

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