‘Ghostly glow’ in solar system could be ‘new addition’ to our understanding of its structure – but source remains a mystery
- NASA’s Hubble telescope has detected a glow surrounding the solar system
- Scientists are amazed by this glow, which is equivalent to 10 fireflies
- The team theorizes that it could be dust from comets falling into the solar system
A mysterious “ghostly glow” the size of 10 fireflies has been found around us solar system it continues even when other light sources such as stars and planets are out.
The discovery was made by sifting through 200,000 images taken by astronomers when they set out to see just how dark space can be. NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope and eliminated the expected glare – but a small excess of light prevailed.
Scientists can’t be sure where the light came from, but they speculate on the source something previously unknown a sphere formed from the dust of comets reflecting sunlight.
If confirmed, the researchers said this dust shell would be a new addition to the known architecture of the Solar System.
Scientists have discovered a “ghostly glow” surrounding our solar system while analyzing images taken by NASA’s Hubble telescope.
The discovery builds on research from 2021, when another group of astronomers used data from NASA’s interplanetary space probe New Horizons to measure the sky background.
New Horizons also detected a glow around the solar system, but the probe was more than four billion miles from the sun, and what caused it remains a mystery to this day.
Numerous theories range from the decay of dark matter to the unseen giant population of distant galaxies.
said Tim Carleton of Arizona State University (ASU). statement: ‘If our analysis is correct, there is another dust component between us and the distance measured by New Horizons.
The team measured the darkness of the sky, where it was necessary to extract the constellation light, which is the glow given off by the planets of the stars.
“That means it’s some kind of extra light from inside the solar system.”
Carleton went on to explain that because the light appears dim in the New Horizons data due to distance, the glow is coming from the outskirts of the solar system.
“This could be a new element that has been hypothesized for the content of the solar system, but has not been quantified so far,” he said.
This led to recent efforts to use Hubble, which is about 340 miles above Earth’s surface.
“More than 95 percent of the photons in the images in the Hubble archive come from less than 3 billion miles from Earth,” veteran Hubble astronomer Rogier Windhorst, also of ASU, said in a statement.
“Since the early days of Hubble, most Hubble users have discarded these sky-photons because they are interested in faint discrete objects such as stars and galaxies in Hubble images.
Hubble (pictured) captured the glow about 340 miles above Earth’s surface. Astronomers analyzing the images believe that the glow comes from dust balls made up of comets
“However, these sky-photons contain important information that can be extracted thanks to Hubble’s unique ability to measure faint luminosity levels with high precision over its 30-year lifetime.
Hubble, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, has been observing the universe for more than 30 years.
He has made more than 1.5 million observations of the universe, and more than 18,000 scientific papers have been published based on his data.
The telescope orbits the Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph in low Earth orbit, about 340 miles above the International Space Station.
Launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April 1990, Hubble is increasingly showing signs of aging, despite a series of repairs and upgrades by NASA’s space shuttle-era astronauts.
The telescope is named after famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889 and discovered the expansion of the universe, as well as its rate of expansion.
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