The spacecraft of NASA New Horizon detected a strange light on the outer edge of our solar system that would confirm a mysterious phenomenon observed three decades ago.
It was an ultraviolet glow that comes from the edge of the solar system and could come from a hydrogen wall and represent the limit of the influence of our sun.
The findings were published in the Journal Geophysical Research Letters. "We see the threshold between being in the vicinity of the sun and being out in the galaxy," said researcher Leslie Young of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado and a member of the New Horizons team.
A FLASH OF THREE DECADES
This phenomenon was also recorded by the Voyager probes, which were launched in the 1970s and which, 30 years later, already exceeded the outer limit of our solar system.
These probes also They discovered the same phenomenon that is now confirmed with more and better data.
New Horizon is the probe launched in 2006 with the specific purpose of giving a first recognition to the dwarf planet Pluto, venturing into the mysterious and distant Kuiper Belt and helping us to understand the margins of our solar system.
WALL OF HYDROGEN
The explanation for this mysterious flash is the long-sought wall of hydrogen.
The solar wind, a stream of charged particles emitted by the sun, generates a magnetic bubble that covers the entire solar system. and whose ultimate limit is known as heliopause.
Beyond the edge of this bubble, uncharged hydrogen atoms in the interstellar space slow down when hitting solar wind particles, this phenomenon generates a hydrogen wall that scatters ultraviolet light in a certain way, generating the strange glow.
Wayne Pryor, another of the authors of the study, states, however, that there are now two possible scenarios while New Horizon continues its journey: if the ultraviolet light decreases or disappears, it means that the probe is dead of hydrogen.
But if the light does not fade, it would mean that the source of this light could be in the deep space later.
New Horizon will surpass Ultima Thule, an object in the Kuiper belt, in 2019 and keep its track for a period of 10 to 15 years.
With information from BBC and NASA.