Nasa spots huge and mysterious hydrogen ‘wall’ around our solar system

Nasa spots huge and mysterious hydrogen 'wall' around our solar system


Nasa scientists believe they have found new evidence of a mysterious ‘wall’ surrounding our solar system.

Observations from the New Horizons spacecraft appear to prove that a layer of hydrogen gas encircles all the planets and objects orbiting our sun.

The Voyager spacecraft first gathered data which indicated the existence of a barrier at the edge of the ‘heliosphere’, the name for a bubble around our solar system formed by the solar wind.

This wind is actually a stream of charged particles gushing from the Sun, which itself is travelling through an ‘interstellar medium’ that exists between star systems.

An illustration of the heliosphere (Picture: Nasa)

Right now, our solar system is speeding through a huge ‘local cloud’ of gas which stretches to 30 light years across, which also has its own gusts called ‘interstellar wind’.

The wall is believed to exist where these two tempests meet.

Hydrogen atoms which make up the barrier produce ultraviolet light which was picked up by the New Horizons probe, which beamed back incredible images of Pluto in 2015.

More: UK

In the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the Nasa scientists wrote: ‘Long‐term observations made with the Alice instrument on the New Horizons spacecraft confirm measurements made 30 thirty years earlier with the Voyager spacecraft.

‘Both sets of data are best explained if the observed ultraviolet light is not only a result of the scattering of sunlight by hydrogen atoms within the solar system but includes a substantial contribution from a distant source.

‘This distant source could be the signature of a “wall” of hydrogen, formed near where the interstellar wind encounters the solar wind or could be more distant. Similar future observations from New Horizons are planned about twice each year.’

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