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Escaping solar system: scientists found a fascinating way to see heliosphere

Scientists have found a way to get into interstellar space. Source: Created with the help of AI

The solar system is our home in the vastness of space. Scientists all over the world are eagerly trying to find a way to explore what is beyond it, but it is not easy.

The heliosphere is the protective envelope of our planetary system, so to explore the universe, you need to get beyond it. It sounds impossible, but IFLScience said that scientists have already proposed the best routes to leave our world.

In a groundbreaking study, scientists have questioned previous assumptions about the shape of the heliosphere. It is often depicted as spherical, but it is likely to have a more complex shape, perhaps elongated or crescent-shaped.

Sarah Spitzer, PhD and first author of the study from the University of Michigan, compared our understanding of the heliosphere to "a goldfish trying to understand the aquarium from the inside."

Scientists are striving to understand the nature of our solar system's envelope and explore how it protects astronauts and life in general from harmful galactic radiation. However, until humanity knows at least the shape of the heliosphere, this is impossible.

Escaping solar system: scientists found a fascinating way to see heliosphere

The only thing we know is that galactic radiation affects its shape and makes the heliosphere point in a certain direction. This means it has a front side that is closer to the Sun and a back side.

Previously, there were proposals to send a research probe at a 45-degree angle from the nose of the heliosphere, but the proposal was rejected. Spitzer and her colleagues analyzed six possible trajectories and concluded that studying the flanks would provide the most scientific insight.

Therefore, the scientists proposed to send a new mission into oblivion, during which the spacecraft will have to overcome from 400 to 1000 AU (1 AU is equal to the distance from the Earth to the Sun).

"The upcoming interstellar probe mission will be our first opportunity to truly see our heliosphere, our home, from the outside, and better understand its place in the local interstellar environment," Spitzer added.

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