Strange Ripples Have Been Detected at The Edge of The Solar System?

Huh? Whaat?

The headline above, from this morning, passed right through my “No! Don’t Swallow the Clickbait” filter because I’m a sucker for ripples.

Nah, that’s not it. The truth is that thanks to the love of my life, AKA Gwen The Beautiful, AKA GTB, AKA Space Queen (due to her childhood ambition to be – yes, it’s true – an astronaut), I’m a sucker for all things outer space.

The first paragraph of the article put a big grin on my face:

The bubble of space encasing the Solar System might be wrinkled, at least sometimes.

Immediately I called that exciting factoid out to GTB. But then, as she was digesting it, I read her what came next:

Data from a spacecraft orbiting Earth has revealed ripple structures in the termination shock and heliopause: shifting regions of space that mark one of the boundaries between the space inside the Solar System, and what’s outside – interstellar space.

My Friendly Neighborhood Space Queen frowned. “‘Data from a spacecraft orbiting Earth…?’ she said. “Which spacecraft? When? Sources, dammit. Science needs sources!”

Uh-oh. I’d hit a trigger there. How could I have forgotten to factcheck? Luckly, there was a bright spot. The article is accompanied by the sort of picture that always returns peace to wherever Gwen and I happen to be:

(An illustration showing the Solar System inside the heliosphere, with the termination shock and heliopause represented by two bubbles, one inside the other. Via NASA)

This image, you’ll notice, is credited to NASA. And that’s the one source the most beautiful and scientifically stringent member of the Brody family can accept…even though the National Aeronautics and Space Administration still hasn’t let the Space Queen walk on the moon.