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Astronomy

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heliosphere

A TALE OF NO TAIL  Data from the Voyager and Cassini spacecraft suggest that the heliosphere, the bubble of particles surrounding the solar system, is spherical, not comet-shaped. This illustration shows how that bubble is shaped by the interstellar magnetic field and flow of particles from interstellar space. Other labeled parts of the heliosphere are its outer edge (heliopause), the point at which the solar wind slows in speed (termination shock) and the region between those two boundaries (heliosheath).

GAMMA GLUT  Extra gamma rays from the center of the Milky Way, detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (shown), could be a sign of dark matter. But a new study doesn’t support that idea, finding that other parts of the galaxy also exhibit excess gamma rays.

Jupiter's cold spot

SPOTTED  Jupiter’s northern aurora, shown in this Hubble Space Telescope image, may help generate the newly detected “Great Cold Spot” in the planet’s atmosphere.

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