Solar system is encased in a bubble

Amazingly, the Heliosphere is a bubble encasing the solar system and separates us from some of the harsh space radiation.

| Updated on: Mar 05 2023, 18:09 IST
Top NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Crescent Moon, Flaming Nebula, Venus to Jupiter
1/5 Venus-Jupiter Conjunction (Feb 27) - features the view of Venus and Jupiter, but with an unusual ray of light extending from the horizon. It is known as Zodiacal light, a band of dust reflecting sunlight from the inner Solar System which becomes noticeable during certain periods when observed after sunset or before sunrise. (NASA/Ruslan Merzlyakov)
2/5 Crescent Moon and the Temple of Poseidon (Feb 28) - It is a stunning snapshot of the thin crescent Moon with the ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon at the forefront in Greece. According to NASA, the moonlight we see on Earth is sunlight reflected off the Moon's grayish-white surface. (NASA/Elias Chasiotis)
3/5 Flaming Nebula, Tadpole Nebula and Comet ZTF (March 1) - Flaming Star Nebula and the Tadpole Nebula can be seen crossing paths with the Comet ZTF. IC405, otherwise known as the Flaming Star Nebula, lies about 1,500 light-years away toward the constellation of Auriga and spans about 5 light-years across.  (NASA/Thomas Roell)
4/5 Spiral Galaxies NGC 3169 and NGC 3166 (March 2) - It is a stellar snapshot of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3169 and its neighbour NGC 3166. NGC 3169 is located almost 70 million light-years away in the constellation of Sextans (the Sextant). According to NASA, it is part of the Leo I Group of galaxies which is part of a larger galactic congregation known as the Virgo Supercluster.  (NASA/Mike Selby/Mark Hanson)
5/5 Supernova Remnant RCW 86 (March 3) - After the supernova explosion, its remnants are left behind, which are known as Supernova Remnants (SNR). NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is an extremely rare and historical snapshot of Supernova Remnant RCW 86 which spans around 100 light-years and is located nearly 8000 light-years away.  (NASA/CTIO/NOIRLab/DOE/NSF/AURA)
icon View all Images
Heliosphere is created by the Sun, NASA explains. (NASA Sun and Space Twitter)

Space has always been an interesting thing to explore for scientists and researchers. In order to find out more details, insights and something interesting, astronauts and spacecraft are sent into space to gather even more information from close quarters. However, Space is not that safe! Harmful radiation, heat, and unforeseen situations need to be taken care of. NASA has informed that the solar system is encased in a bubble called the heliosphere which protects us from harsh space radiation.

The surprising point is, the heliosphere is itself created by another source of radiation, which is the Sun. Informing about the same NASA Sun and Space tweeted, "The solar system is encased in a bubble called the heliosphere, which separates us from the vast galaxy beyond — and some of its harsh space radiation. We're protected from that radiation by the heliosphere, which itself is created by another source of radiation: the Sun!"

"Though the heliosphere was discovered in the late 1950s, many questions about it remain. The more scientists study it, the more they can learn about how it reduces radiation exposure for astronauts and spacecraft, and even how other stars affect their nearby planets!," NASA Sun and Space added.

How is heliosphere formed

The sun sends out a constant flow of charged particles called the solar wind, which ultimately travels past all the planets to some three times the distance to Pluto before being impeded by the interstellar medium. This forms a giant bubble around the sun and its planets, known as the heliosphere. NASA has studied the heliosphere to better understand the fundamental physics of the space surrounding us - which, in turn, provides information regarding space throughout the rest of the universe, as well as regarding what makes planets habitable.

"For one thing, our heliosphere acts as a giant shield, protecting the planets from galactic cosmic radiation. Earth is additionally shielded by its own magnetic field, the magnetosphere, which protects us not only from solar and cosmic particle radiation but also from erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind. Planets without a shielding magnetic field, such as Mars and Venus, are exposed to such processes and have evolved differently," NASA explained.

NASA heliophysics missions contributing to heliospheric research are: the Advanced Composition Explorer; NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory; Voyager, and Wind. Additionally, instruments on such NASA missions as Maven and Juno, observe the space around Mars and Jupiter respectively, and contribute to heliospheric research.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 05 Mar, 18:09 IST