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Old 08-27-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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Maybe someone can shed some light on this as i'm still a bit perplexed about it's effects on our planets especially the outer one's? O.k. so 'if' i'm correct here as our Sun travels through the Interstellar Medium that creats a HUGE bow shock in front of it (like a boat going thru water) and so wouldn't that have an effect on the outer planets as they rotate around towards the front of it? So for example wouldn't Uranus, Neptune and the Exoplanet Pluto be (pushed) much closer to the Sun when in front than when they are behind it?
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 6 Foot 3 View Post
Maybe someone can shed some light on this as i'm still a bit perplexed about it's effects on our planets especially the outer one's? O.k. so 'if' i'm correct here as our Sun travels through the Interstellar Medium that creats a HUGE bow shock in front of it (like a boat going thru water) and so wouldn't that have an effect on the outer planets as they rotate around towards the front of it? So for example wouldn't Uranus, Neptune and the Exoplanet Pluto be (pushed) much closer to the Sun when in front than when they are behind it?
Check out the Voyager thread (page 3) in the Space forum. There are a couple of posts (with vids) that may help address the question.

Using the boat example plowing through water, there's no noticable distortion to the boat. The bow shock of the heliosphere is the location where particles streaming out from the sun interact with particles streaming in from intergalactic space. There's a little more to it though. It also involves positive and negative magnetic charges generated by the sun. As the sun spins on its own axis, the path of the magnetic charges form spiraling waves that travel outward toward the heliosphere. The waves are spaced farther apart closer to the sun, but as they get closer to the heliosphere, the waves become more compressed. A strange effect seems to occur out there taking on a frothy form of magnetic bubbles. As energetic particles from the galaxy reach the bow shock, they don't take a straight path into the solar system. Instead, they get hung up and sort of bounce around from bubble to bubble, until they finally get past this region and into the inner space of the solar system. Although at the bow, there's stong activity, not all particles get through. Most are swept around the edge of the heliosphere and continue traveling on through the galaxy.

If I can use the boat traveling through water example again, as the boat passes through water, the greatest point of compression to the water is at the bow of the boat which create waves. There's still water along the sides and rear of the boat, but most of that is swept around and away from the boat because there's less compression. With regard to the solar system, the activity at the bow can be thought of as the termination shock of the heliosphere where the greatest compression is found. If we think of the planets in the solar system like passengers in the boat, the passengers aren't really affected by the compressed water at the bow of the boat. The planets don't particularly notice any distortion to their orbits because they're bound by the gravitational influence of the sun. The planets do wobble and are not on perfectly circular orbits, but that's because of other reasons. However, much farther out, as you get closer to the heliosphere, the gravitational influence of the sun becomes weaker. The sun's gravity is still out there, just not as strong. The magnetic waves from the sun are most likely very weak as well, but because they pile up due to increasing levels of compression, there's a lot more collective activity going on at the heliosphere's bow shock.

The path of Voyager 1 is somewhat headed directly into the termination shock and detecting much more activity. The path of Voyager 2 is in a different direction where these magnetic bubbles are more widely separated. Voyager 2 appears to show times of more activity and times where there's less activity, meaning that it enters and exits these bubbles less frequently because there's less compression and more space between the bubbles.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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Thanks NB as i now understand it better now.

One more question ... and that is what is influencing the direction that the Sun travels through Interstellar Space? Is it an gravitational pull by some far off dual or massive star system in our section of the Milky Way or is it just part of a general flow pattern around the massive Black Hole in the center that the entire galaxy spirals around?
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:25 PM
 
5,366 posts, read 8,361,690 times
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Originally Posted by 6 Foot 3 View Post
Thanks NB as i now understand it better now.

One more question ... and that is what is influencing the direction that the Sun travels through Interstellar Space? Is it an gravitational pull by some far off dual or massive star system in our section of the Milky Way or is it just part of a general flow pattern around the massive Black Hole in the center that the entire galaxy spirals around?
In general, our solar system follows the rotational direction of the galaxy. To understand why the galaxy rotates at all, we have to look back at the origin and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy some 13.6 billion years ago. Here are a few things that might help understand it. The James Webb space telescope should provide a much better understanding about the birth of galaxies. While the galaxy's supermassive black hole plays a role, the rotation might be more related to the gas and dust that formed the early galaxies, and later from collisions with other galaxies and the cannibalistic nature of the Milky Way. The last video shows a computer simulation of what might take place when M-31 and the Milky Way collide.

Formation of the Milky Way

The Milky Way’s Rotation

Ten things you don’t know about the Milky Way Galaxy | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine




A Look at the Milky Way's Birth - YouTube



Galaxy Formation - YouTube



Andromeda/Milky Way collision (simulation) - YouTube
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
To understand why the galaxy rotates at all, we have to look back at the origin and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy some 13.6 billion years ago.
So i'm assuming that since the Universe is 14.6 billion years old and our galaxy is 13.6 billion years old that we are much closer to the location of the Big Bang (Planck Epoch) than we are to the current Universe's edge unless we've expanded out along with it?


Very cool info .
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:04 PM
 
5,366 posts, read 8,361,690 times
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Originally Posted by 6 Foot 3 View Post
So i'm assuming that since the Universe is 14.6 billion years old and our galaxy is 13.6 billion years old that we are much closer to the location of the Big Bang (Planck Epoch) than we are to the current Universe's edge unless we've expanded out along with it?
LOL! It's pretty old, isn't it. As far as I can tell, the general consensus of the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years based on the data from the WMAP. The galaxy expanded in terms of growth from gravitationally attracting gas, stars, and dwarf galaxies. Collisions would be a certainty, slowly adding to the size and mass of the galaxy over a period of billions of years.
WMAP- Age of the Universe

In terms of "location", the best we can say is in terms of location in time. The origin of the galaxy would've been about a billion years after the Big Bang. Spatially, early galaxies may have been closer together. But as space expanded, the distance between them became greater, especially when the expansion began to accelerate. That can be inferred by the filaments. Dark Matter is suspected to have played a role as well as gravity. Presumably, filaments began to appear, at least more noticably, and began to stretch out thinner and thinner because of the expansion of space. Eventually in the far distant future, they may become so thin that they'll break apart into smaller disconnected fragments and ultimately vanish altogether.

What we don't know is where we're spatially located in the universe which might be a question we'll never have a real answer to. If you could somehow instantly teleport yourself to the most spatially distant parts of the universe, you'd probably find just as many galaxies as we see from here, billions and billions in all directions. Some of the most distant and oldest galaxies we've detected are an enormous distance from us which are highly red-shifted suggesting that space was already expanding. Eventually, they will completely fade away and disappear from our view having passed beyond the particle horizon of the observable universe. The reason is because space is expanding faster than the speed of light. As it is now, they're barely visable. There are probably loads of galaxies that are located far beyond our view that we'll never see because of the acceleration of the expansion of space. The light emitted from them will never reach us.

The Milky Way and other galaxies didn't just start out as galaxies. It's thought they formed from dense clumps of gas, which in turn began forming some of the first stars. The Milky Way started with a humble beginning. Gravity was at work.

Here's a few simulations you might find interesting that may help better visualize what sort of things were taking place.



How the Universe Evolved - YouTube



The Cosmic Web, or: What does the universe look like at a VERY large scale? - YouTube



Milky Way Galaxy Formation - 2011 Simulation - YouTube



The Formation of a Milky Way like Galaxy - YouTube
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