IBEX Update

    IBEX - Viewing The Solar System's invisible Frontier

    Artist's impression of the IBEX spacecraft. Image Credit: Walt Feimer, NASA GSFC

    At the edge of our solar system in December 2004, the Voyager 1 spacecraft encountered something never before experienced during its then 26-year cruise through the solar system — an invisible shock formed as the solar wind piles up against the gas in interstellar space. This boundary, called the termination shock, marks the beginning of our solar system's final frontier, a vast expanse of turbulent gas and twisting magnetic fields.

    A NASA-sponsored team is developing a way to view this chaotic but unseen realm for the first time. Just as an impressionist artist makes an image from countless tiny strokes of paint, NASA’s new Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft will build up an image of the termination shock and areas beyond by using hits from high-speed atoms that are radiating out of this region.

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