Interstellar Boundary Explorer

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Recently, NASA engineers successfully reset the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft after it went into contingency mode for 3 weeks.

About Interstellar Boundary Explorer:

  • NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) was launched in October 2008 to study the outer edge of the heliosphere.
  • The spacecraft is designed to map the boundary where winds from the Sun interact with winds from other stars.
  • The solar system's boundary is studied by observing energetic neutral atoms or ENAs.
  • ENAs are high-energy particles produced at the very edge of our solar system.
  • Major discoveries of IBEX
    • This spacecraft fully mapped the heliosphere within a year after its launch.
    • Its most famous discovery is uncovering a dense region of particles, the ‘IBEX ribbon


What is  Heliosphere?

  • Heliosphere is the region where the constant flow of particles from our Sun, called the solar wind, collides with material from the rest of the galaxy.


Q1) Who is a Galaxy ?

Galaxies are sprawling systems of dust, gas, dark matter, and anywhere from a million to a trillion stars that are held together by gravity.

Source: NASA’s IBEX spacecraft back to studying edge of solar system after glitch