Shifting Interstellar Wind Shows Larger Implications

Shifting Interstellar Wind Shows Larger Implications

Trajectory of Interstellar Wind

A new study has shown, over the course of the last 40 years, that interstellar winds have changed direction, if only slightly. The study took data from the 1970’s onward from eleven different satellites. This change in the direction of the Interstellar Wind shows larger implications than one may realize.

While some may already be familiar with Solar Wind, more may be unfamiliar with Interstellar Wind. Solar Wind is what scientists call the stream of charged particles that are emitted from the sun out to beyond our solar system. In this wind are not only charged particles of Hydrogen and Helium, but solar radiation as well.

The Interstellar Wind, as one might imagine, is the stream of charged particles entering our solar system from somewhere else. In this case from the large gas cloud that our solar system is currently traveling through. Just like our planet moves around the sun, our solar system moves around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. In fact, our solar system is currently traveling through a loose cloud of interstellar gas known as the Local Interstellar Cloud, at about 52,000 miles an hour, relatively.

The information was complied from such platforms as: the United States Department of Defense Space Test Program 72-1, SOLRAD 11B, NASA’s Mariner, Soviet Prognoz 6, and newer platforms like NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE).

While technology has changed significantly since the 1970, the instruments themselves have all been able to register charged Hydrogen and Helium particles. Also, pulling data from the large number of different instruments and platforms from the 1970′s onward has allowed for some statistical reliability. Although there is still a small amount of error in the older data, it clearly shows a shift in the wind. This shifting interstellar wind largely implies how our own solar system protects itself, and us, from larger forces.

Shifting Interstellar Wind Shows Larger Implications

Passage of our solar system through the Local Interstellar Cloud.

All of this has gone on to show a change in the direction of the Interstellar Wind by about six degrees. Just like how the Earth’s magnetic field provides a shield and buffer for the solar winds, the Sun’s magnetic field protects and shields the solar system from the interstellar winds. However, unlike the Earth which is constantly bombarded by the solar wind from one direction, the interstellar wind shifts indicating a kind of galactic turbulence that our solar system is being subjected to. This has the implication of changing and distorting the heliosphere, the protective magnetic bubble the Sun creates, as the Interstellar Wind’s shift direction.

Since our solar system is in an outer arm of our galaxy, it seems to reason that it would experience more turbulence from outside forces, either from the center of our galaxy or outside of it, as we are less protected by the larger shield of the galactic center’s magnetic field.

These revelations seem to reinforce the old truth ‘as above, so below,’ meaning that what we understand and see in our world can be applied to the much larger worlds that we cannot directly experience. In this way, with this data, we can see that our understanding of solar wind and protection that the Earth creates can be applied to the solar system and, perhaps, the galaxy as well. If there are groups of galaxies moving together, perhaps it can be applied to that larger structure as well.

Regardless as to the philosophical implications, this data provides the starting point for scientists to hypothesize and experiment with how the galaxy and our solar system moves through space. So, we may find the larger implications of a shifting interstellar wind indicates our position in the galaxy has changed, showing our progress in the infinitely larger universal dance of movement.

Written by: Iam Bloom

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29 Responses to Shifting Interstellar Wind Shows Larger Implications

  1. James Neutron September 8, 2013 at 12:23 am

    The writer avoids saying it, but the fact that the sun adjusts itself to accommodate for particle bombardment of our solar system is a sign of intelligence – that was the elephant in the room they managed to say without saying. “It’s alive! Alive!” Our sun protects the Earth like a mother hen as it crosses the galactic farm yard. The other point was that global warming and all the rest is clearly caused by flux in the amount of radiation hitting the Earth at any given time which, the author subtly points out, most people are clueless about.

  2. Robert Hawes September 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    More waste of our taxpayers’ money. Enough is enough!

  3. Jimmy the Russian September 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    OH, NO! We’re all gonna die!

    The universe has been around here for 40,000,000,000 years, but in the last 40 years, scientwits have discovered everything is changing!

    Global warming! Interstellar wind! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

    (But first, give me some more funding for my “impending disaster” research).

  4. William F. Hagen September 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    This gas cloud is so rarefied that it certainly poses no threat, and really only exists as a cloud in some artist’s impression, and someone needing more funding…

  5. Curtis Gale Weeks (@CurtisGaleWeeks) September 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    “Shows Larger Implications” in the title.

    But no larger implications — none whatsoever — are shown in the article. The article seems to imply that there are some larger implication that might be deduced…..but nope. Nada. Nothing to see here; move along.

  6. Brad Hilt September 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The arrogance of the research. What a waste of time. 40 years out of millions and some idiot thinks this shift has some significant meaning. This insignificant planet was here way before man and will still be here when we are gone.

  7. Al Dente September 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    This is merely a marker, a data point. In itself meaningless, but as part of a trend line significant. Should the angle and/or velocity of interstellar wind change, it could imply incoming radioactive waves such as a super nova or particle burst from outside our galaxy.

    This could be a precursor or warning signal that something is pushing the interstellar wind from another direction, and the source of that push maybe much more signficant than the wind it is producing.

    Nothing changes without a reason or force, even the wind.

  8. Ben Nevis September 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I’m sure someone in the intelligentsia will blame this happening on human activity and push for a political solution.


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