IBEX sees heliosphere boundary structure

Nasa’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (Ibex) spacecraft has identified unexpected evidence of structure at the farthest reaches of our solar system, at the edge of our heliosphere – a crucial layer of protection against galactic cosmic rays. The structure, a “bright, winding ribbon” which seems to be ordered by the galactic magnetic field just outside the heliosphere, has also been confirmed by observations from Cassini in orbit around Saturn. And for the geeks out there, you know who you are, here’s a detailed Nasa press conference with the scientists involved.
Observant viewers will have spotted that one of the extreme examples of a visible heliosphere used in the press conference was an image from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer of the “faster than a speeding bullet” star, Mira.

Most of the links at my previous post on Mira no longer work, so here’s the animation again showing the heliosphere there. Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC).