Voyager probes have detected completely new types of electronic explosions outside the solar system.
This “unique physics” may be the first to be detected by a spacecraft and may be a new breakthrough in our perception of “interstellar medium”, or space between stars.
Two Voyager spacecraft launched by NASA more than 40 hundred years ago, with the goal of flying to the farthest reaches of our solar system, with them now advancing even further, reaching interstellar space and exploring gaps between stars, is the first of its kind in that mysterious region. Gives a glimpse.
The latest discovery from the spacecraft – using data from both Voyager 1 and 2 – they saw had never been detected before. They found that cosmic ray electrons were being accelerated by shock waves that were generated in the sun’s main fire and then flowed into space.
Electron explosions travel in front of the shock waves that they throw into space. The throw electrons travel at almost the speed of light and accelerate along the lines of the magnetic field.
Soon, low-energy electrons appear, sometimes it takes a few days to do so. The shock waves are then detected by the spacecraft itself, sometimes a month later.
The shock waves themselves come from coronal mass emissions, which are hot gas and energy clamps that are thrown at a speed of about one million miles from the sun. The Voyager spacecraft is now so far away that even at speed they take a year to detect.
“What we see precisely here is a specific process by which the shock wave first travels through spacecraft when it interacts with the lines of the intercellular magnetic field, reflecting and accelerating some cosmic ray electrons,” says Don Gurnet, a physicist and physicist. Iowa and the author of the study.
“We detected through cosmic rays that these were electrons that were reflected and accelerated by interstitial shocks externally propagated from the sun’s powerful solar events. This is a new process.”
Scientists now hope they can use this discovery to better understand both the shock wave and the radiation itself.
Consequences may help to convey considerations when sending astronauts on long missions to the moon or Mars, as they will be exposed to much more cosmic rays than we do on Earth.