The solar system is dented
- URL to an interesting article in CNN
Who'd a thunk this
First few paragraphs
WASHINGTON (AP) -- When viewed from the rest of the galaxy, the edge of our
solar system appears slightly dented as if a giant hand is pushing one edge
of it inward, far-traveling NASA probes reveal.
New data suggests our solar system is not as symmetrical as astronomers have
Information from Earth's first space probes to hit the thick edge of the
solar system -- called the heliosheath where the solar wind slows abruptly --
paint a picture that is not the simple circle that astronomers long thought,
according to several studies published Thursday in the journal Nature.
Surprised astronomers said they will have to change their models for what
the solar system looks like.
In 1977, NASA launched two _space probes_
(http://topics.cnn.com/topics/Unmanned_Space_Exploration) on missions beyond the solar system. Voyager 1 went
north and Voyager 2 went south. What startled astronomers is that when the two
of them hit the heliosheath they did so at different distances from the sun.
Voyager 2 hit the southern edge of the solar system nearly 1 billion miles
(1.61 billion kilometers) closer to the sun than Voyager 1 did to the north.
Voyager 2 hit the edge at 7.8 billion miles (12.55 billion kilometers) from
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