Scientists have discovered a galactic difference native and foreign matter
This finding is based on NASA data obtained through research satellite IBEX, which takes samples of matter falling into our solar system from interstellar space.
"We discovered an alien matter that came into our solar system from other parts of the galaxy, which is different, chemically, from what we see here at home," - said David McComas, scientific director of IBEX.
Our solar system is surrounded by the heliosphere, a magnetic bubble that separates us from the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. Outside the heliosphere is "interplanetary space," and is located inside the sun and all the planets. Sun blew this huge magnetic bubble its solar wind, which blows up the magnetic field of the sun. The heliosphere protects us from cosmic rays, not allowing them to get inside our solar system.
IBEX, launched in 2008, revolves around the Earth, and scans the entire sky. It is able to detect the presence of neutral atoms that pass through the heliosphere magnetic protection. Not go beyond the heliosphere, IBEX is able to take the test samples of particles that originated outside our solar system.
The first two years of the calculation of foreign atoms have led to some interesting conclusions:
"We have directly measured the amount of four separate types of atoms from interplanetary space and the results do not match up with what we see in our solar system," - said Eric Christian Research Center of NASA in Greenbelt.
Among these four kinds of atoms: H, He, O and Ne - last neon is particularly interesting. "Neon belongs to the category of noble gas, so it does not react with anything. And it is relatively widespread, allowing you to gather more statistics" - said McComas.
Based on information from the IBEX, the researchers compared the ratio of the levels of neon and oxygen inside and outside the heliosphere. In the six scientific papers published in the Astrophysical Journal, they reported that in the galactic wind that came from the outside, for every 20 neon atoms have 74 oxygen atoms. In our solar system, for every 20 neon atoms have 111 oxygen atoms. It follows from this conclusion that the oxygen content in our solar system is higher than outside.
Where did the extra oxygen? "There are at least two options," - said McComas. "Or our solar system is conceived in a more oxygen-rich part of the galaxy than the one in which we are now, or oxygen gets stuck in the interstellar dust."
In any case, it changes our scientific models of the origin of our solar system and life.