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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Voyager II detects solar system's edge

Life, Science, Tech

Voyager II could pass beyond the outermost layer of our solar system, called the "termination shock" sometime within the next year, NASA scientists announced at a media teleconference Tuesday.

The milestone, which comes about a year after Voyager 1's crossing, comes earlier than expected and suggests to scientists that the edge of the shock is about one billion miles closer to the sun in the southern region of the solar system than in the north.

This implies that the heliosphere, a spherical bubble of charged low-energy particles created by our sun's solar wind, is irregularly shaped, bulging in the northern hemisphere and pressed inward in the south.

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