Strange Region Outside Our Solar System - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Strange Region Outside Our Solar System

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A glimpse beyond our solar system reveals the neighborhood just outside the sun's influence is different and stranger than expected, scientists reported Tuesday.

One oddity is the amount of oxygen. There are more oxygen atoms floating freely in the solar system than in the immediate interstellar space, or the vast region between stars.

Scientists were unsure why, but they said it's possible some of the life-supporting element could be hidden in dust or ice.

"We discovered this big puzzle — that the matter just outside of our solar system doesn't look like the material inside," said David McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

The discovery came from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft, which launched in 2008 to study the chaotic boundary where the solar wind from the sun clashes with cold gases from interstellar space.

Circling 200,000 miles above Earth, the Ibex spacecraft spots particles streaming into the solar system. A protective bubble surrounding around the sun and planets prevents dangerous cosmic radiation from seeping through, but neutral particles can pass freely, allowing Ibex to map their distribution.

The presence of less oxygen outside the solar system should not have any bearing on the search for Earth-like planets, scientists involved in the exoplanet hunt said.

There's plenty of oxygen in all the stars in the galaxy and in the material out of which stars and planets form, Geoff Marcy of University of California, Berkeley said in an email.

While Ibex probes the edge of the solar system from Earth orbit, NASA's long-running, nuclear-powered twin Voyager spacecraft are at the fringes. Launched in 1977, the spacecraft have been exploring the solar system boundary since 2004.

Scientists have said it'll be months or years before Voyager 1 exits the solar system and becomes the first manmade probe to cross into interstellar space.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:41:55 GMT

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>
  • Ohio teen fatally shoots 11-year-old brother in 'premeditated act'

    Ohio teen fatally shoots 11-year-old brother in 'premeditated act'

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 10:06 AM EDT2018-04-24 14:06:01 GMT

    STREETSBORO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 13-year-old boy has fatally shot his 11-year-old brother in suburban Cleveland, and police are describing the shooting as an apparent "premeditated act."   Streetsboro police say officers were called to a home around 9:30 p.m. Monday. The 11-year-old died at a hospital.   Police say the 13-year-old has been charged with aggravated murder in Portage County Juvenile Court.

    >>

    STREETSBORO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 13-year-old boy has fatally shot his 11-year-old brother in suburban Cleveland, and police are describing the shooting as an apparent "premeditated act."   Streetsboro police say officers were called to a home around 9:30 p.m. Monday. The 11-year-old died at a hospital.   Police say the 13-year-old has been charged with aggravated murder in Portage County Juvenile Court.

    >>
  • Spokane police investigating fatal crash near 3rd and Liberty Park

    Spokane police investigating fatal crash near 3rd and Liberty Park

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:56 AM EDT2018-04-25 05:56:04 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police say a pedestrian is dead after they were hit by a car near 3rd and Liberty Park Place east of downtown Spokane Tuesday night. Neighbors in the area called police after hearing a crash, coming out to investigate and finding a person in the street. Arriving officers and medical crews began lifesaving efforts, but were not successful and the pedestrian died.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police say a pedestrian is dead after they were hit by a car near 3rd and Liberty Park Place east of downtown Spokane Tuesday night. Neighbors in the area called police after hearing a crash, coming out to investigate and finding a person in the street. Arriving officers and medical crews began lifesaving efforts, but were not successful and the pedestrian died.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/