When human beings fly around the Earth and the Earth goes around the sun again, it is worth stopping to think about it, and the sun is flying around --
Dragging all of us all the way.
Until now, it seems, it's all a little slower than it once thought --
7,000 miles slow.
Scientists have long estimated that the sun is running in space at 59,000 miles an hour.
But now an international team led by San Antonio researchers has stopped this estimate.
"The difference, though it sounds a little small --
Only 7,000 miles per hour (slower)
By contrast, 59,000 miles per hour
It's actually a very important difference, "said assistant vice president of space science and engineering.
McComas is the head of NASA's mission, called IBEX, or interstellar border probe, a small spacecraft that studies the boundaries of the solar system from Earth orbit.
These boundaries are a protective bubble formed by strong winds from the sun that shape interstellar matter into a sphere.
"This bubble is important because it actually protects the solar system from the radiation of the Galactic universe," McComas said . ".
Over the years, space scientists thought the sun was moving fast enough to produce a "bow shock "--
A phenomenon of the forward edge of a bubble when it passes through space.
An impact is formed by ionising gas or plasma.
McComas says an example of a bow shock on earth is that jets break the sound barrier and produce a sound explosion.
At supersonic speeds, the air in front of it "cannot leave fast enough" to cause shock waves.
As we all know, there is a bow shock on the front edge of Other Suns.
But data sent back from the IBEX spacecraft shows that the sun is not moving fast enough to produce a bow shock.
Instead, it creates a wave, "like a ship that moves on the crystal in the early morning --
"The Clear Lake, pushing a pile of water in front of it, forms a wave that travels to both sides," McComas said . ".
It's not entirely clear what all this means, he said, but there is a possibility that the solar layer is weaker than scientists think and less radiation shielding.
If this is true, then NASA's goal is
Space exploration may become more complex.
"Even minor changes in the boundaries can have an important impact on manned space flights," McComas said . ".
"It took us 25 years to study this model, simulation and theory of the interaction with the bow shock.
So there are a lot of ideas that need to be reconsidered now, because we know that the bow shock does not exist.
"In order to determine their conclusions, scientists from Southwest Research have handed IBEX data to the team of space scientists who normally compete --
One in Russia and the other in Huntsville.
Both come to the same conclusion and are listed as common
The author of the paper was published online in the journal Science on Thursday.