Sun is our protector! NASA explains exactly how it acts as a shield
Apart from providing us warmth and light, the Sun also protects us, says NASA .
Sun is a big source of energy. It provided us with both warmth and light. But did you know that this huge ball of fire also protects us? Yes, this is what NASA has said. The Sun is constantly spewing material that acts like a protective bubble around the solar system- a shield. "#DYK that in addition to providing us warmth and light, the Sun also protects us? The Sun's constantly outflowing material, the solar wind, inflates a bubble around the solar system that acts like a shield, blocking high-energy galactic cosmic rays from elsewhere in our galaxy," NASA Sun and Space tweeted.
It further added that of the spacecraft sent from Earth, only the twin Voyager spacecraft, travelling since 1977, have been confirmed to have made it beyond the boundaries of this bubble, called heliosphere. "Our corner of the universe, the solar system, is nestled inside the Milky Way galaxy, home to more than 100 billion stars. 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," the research organisation said in a report.
We are protected from that radiation by the heliosphere, which itself is created by another source of radiation: the Sun. The Sun constantly spews charged particles, called the solar wind, from its surface. The solar wind flings out to about four times the distance of Neptune, carrying with it the magnetic field from the Sun.
Heliosphere is the combination of two words- Helios, the Greek word for the Sun, and sphere, a broad region of influence (though, to be clear, scientists are not sure of the heliosphere's exact shape), NASA said. The heliosphere was discovered in the late 1950s. As scientists study the heliosphere, they learn more about how it reduces astronauts' and spacecrafts' exposure to radiation and more generally, how stars can influence their nearby planets.