What happens at the edge of the solar system?


17 Responses to “What happens at the edge of the solar system?”

  1. Jim Saul says:

    I wonder if there are any effects caused by the differences in density of the interstellar medium through which the Solar System moves. From what I gather, we’ve been travelling through the “local fluff” for maybe 50k years, and will come out of it in 10k more, when we’ll be back in a low density local bubble, kind of like we’re portaging across a swampy island in the middle of a large lake.

    That change is on such a short time scale compared to most of cosmology, and happens to correspond with human history, so it raises some questions. Does it have any impact on mutation rates due to changes in how much cosmic radiation gets through our magnetic envelope?

    Or maybe it demarcate’s Vinge’s “slow zones” and we’ll surface out of it to find a cacophony of interstellar communication.  ;)

  2. sarahnocal says:

    “One of the few women in this field, Opher is also one of the top scientists, of any gender, studying what happens at the edges of space”

    Was this sentence necessary? Any gender? WTF does that even mean?
    How about “Opher is one of the top scientists studying what happens..”.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      If you want to ignore the fact that there are few women in the field, go right ahead. The rest of us consider it worth thinking about and maybe even changing.

    • Emily Dunbar says:

      I agree. Without that statement I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at her gender. I know that there are few female physicists, but putting her up on a pedestal isn’t going to help attempts to achieve more gender equality in the field.

    •  Just to shake it up a bit. Imposing a thought on the whole theory just to make some kind of gender comment.

  3. nimrodeo says:

    Here’s an alternative explanation:


    I like EU theory a lot, it makes sense.

  4. t3kna2007 says:

    “… this solar wind abruptly slams into the thin interstellar medium and the scattered gaseous remnants of exploded stars.”

    Previously encountered by Enterprisehttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/STWhereNoMan.jpg

  5. Aaron Barrell says:

    Great bit over at Radiolab about Voyager passing though the edge of the solar system.  http://www.radiolab.org/2012/feb/20/edge-heavens/

  6. Henry Pootel says:

    Stays at the edge of the solar system.

  7. Paul Renault says:

    A few years ago, The Register had an article titled “Astronomers spot first ever dark galaxy”. 

    With an “artist’s impression” of the dark galaxy.

  8. Christopher Miller says:

    Answer:  It gets lonely?

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