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Heliosphere - Windows to the Universe

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This is a drawing of the heliosphere.
Click on image for full size


"Helios" is the ancient Greek word for the "sun". The Heliosphere is the entire region of space affected by the sun. The Heliosphere is like a bubble that has the planets and the Sun inside of it. Outside the bubble is interstellar space!

The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft have passed the orbit of Pluto. So, they are headed for the boundary of that Heliosphere bubble. That boundary between the Heliosphere and interstellar space is called the heliopause. They will then enter interstellar space where no spacecraft has ever gone before! The Voyager probes will probably reach the end of the heliosphere by ~2008. So, watch for the Voyager probes in the news!

Last modified September 26, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA