Scientists reveal where the solar system ends

    0
    98

    Scientists reveal where the solar system ends

    The difficulty of measuring in space has led many to wonder where the solar system ends. Well, it turns out the answer depends on what you define as the end.

    Making measurements in space is not an easy task. You can't just create a long ruler to calculate distances when you're talking about objects that are millions and billions of miles apart, writes The Grunge.

    The difficulty of measuring in space has led many to wonder where the solar system ends. Well, it turns out the answer depends on what you define as the end.

    According to NASA, there are several criteria by which you can determine the end of the solar system.

    • If you base it on where the planets end, you can say that the limit of our system is on Neptune or the Kuiper belt, the asteroid belt that hosts the dwarf planet Pluto.
    • If you think the solar system is of anything affected by the Sun's gravity, you would say that it ends up in the Oort cloud, which is a spherical cloud of debris that is a thousand times farther away from the Sun than Neptune.
    • Finally, one might say, that the solar system ends where the magnetic field of the sun ends.

    But why can't all scientists use one option to determine the end of the solar system? While it may seem easier to choose a distance and stick to it, the reality is a bit more complicated.

    As our understanding of the universe expands and our technology becomes more advanced, we will learn more about the intricacies of our solar system. For example, scientists assumed that the end of our solar system was the Kuiper belt, until astronomer Jan Oort suggested the existence of the Oort cloud.

    The existence of the Oort cloud may explain the origin of some comets, especially those that do not lie in the same plane as the rest of the solar system. This is due to the fact that the Oort cloud is spherical and surrounds the solar system from all sides, while most other objects in the solar system exist in approximately the same plane. This discovery expanded the known solar system, and new discoveries may change our definition even further.

    Most scientists define the end of the solar system as the end of the heliosphere, which is created by the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field forming a bubble around the solar system.

    The edge of the heliosphere is known as the heliopause. According to NASA, the flow of particles in the heliosphere extends to a distance of about three times the distance to Pluto. Only two artificial objects have crossed the heliopause, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Both probes were launched in 1977 to study our solar system and beyond. Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause on August 25, 2012, and Voyager 2 crossed the heliosphere on November 5, 2018.

    Although scientists consider the heliosphere a more consistent measurement point for the end of the solar system, data from the two probes show that they left the heliosphere at different distance from the sun. This may indicate that the heliosphere is constantly changing in size. The truth is that trying to determine the end of the solar system is a difficult task, and the more we learn, the more difficult it becomes.

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here