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Solar wind interacts with the interstellar Hydrogen.


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Solar wind interacts with the interstellar Hydrogen.
Solar wind interacts with the interstellar Hydrogen.

Sunspots Tracked Behind the Sun.

Nov 24, 2003 Using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, scientists have been able to track the recent powerful sunspots as they moved around the backside of the Sun. The solar wind interacts with the interstellar Hydrogen that fills the whole solar system. As the sunspots move across the far side of the Sun, they cause fluctuations in the solar wind's interaction which are visible in the ultraviolet spectrum. Astronomers were able to predict that the recent massive sunspots had decreased in intensity as they moved across the far side of the Sun.

NASA Tests a New Ion Engine.

Nov 24, 2003 NASA has tested a new high-power ion engine which could give future spacecraft significantly more thrust to accomplish exploration of the solar system. The High Power Electric Propulsion (HiPEP) ion engine should eventually be 10 times as powerful as NASA's Deep Space 1 ion engine which was tested a few years ago. An engine like this will probably power the JIMO probe allowing it to go into and out of orbit around several of Jupiter's moons and map them in great detail.

Seeing a Star's Final Moments.

Nov 24, 2003 Although stars can burn for billions of years, their final stages can take a relatively short period of time. In many cases, it only takes a few hundred thousand years for dying stars to slough off their outer layers to create the familiar planetary nebula. Since they happen so quickly, they're relatively rare to find, but Astronomers think they've got a candidate with a relatively nearby star called V Hydra. The star is in its final stages, and jets of material have just begun emanating from it.

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