NASA IBEX Science Update October 2009
— In October 2009, the IBEX mission team released its first heliospheric results and sky maps. The video shows NASA's Science Update for the IBEX mission, recorded at NASA Headquarters on October 15, 2009 and broadcast live on NASA-TV. The results chronicle the remarkable discovery of a bright, narrow band of energetic neutral atom emissions that was totally unpredicted by any previous theories or models. The ribbon appears to be ordered by the external magnetic field in the interstellar medium, which imprints our heliosphere in a very strong, but not yet understood, way. In addition, the IBEX team has published the first ever direct detection of interstellar neutral hydrogen and oxygen, drifting into the heliosphere from the interstellar medium. Together, these truly remarkable observations show just how little we currently understand about the outer reaches of our heliosphere and our place in the galaxy, and just how much our Small Explorer mission—IBEX—has to teach us.
Launchpad: Mapping the Boundaries of Our Solar System
— What is the shape of our heliosphere and what lies beyond? How does interstellar medium affect the heliosphere? To find out, NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, to map out the boundaries of our solar system. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
IBEX: Exploring The Edge of Our Solar System
— Jump into the secrets of our Solar System and discover more about how the heliosphere protects life on Earth and explorers in space. This short video will answer different questions about the IBEX mission and will help you learn more about the edge of our Solar System. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
IBEX: What are the Boundaries of our Solar System?
— There are several boundaries at the edge of our solar system. The IBEX mission will study these boundaries to help us understand how they protect life on Earth and astronauts in space from the galactic cosmic rays coming from interstellar space. In this video you will find out what the boundaries of our solar system are. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
IBEX: A Global Imager Of Our Solar System's Boundaries
— IBEX is a NASA mission that will, for the first time, take a picture of the edge of our solar system. This video explains the way IBEX will create a global map of the boundaries of our solar system. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
IBEX Mission Video 2008
— PI Dave McComas explains the ideas behind the IBEX mission, describes the building and testing of the mission and invites you stay up to date on the mission's progress. Credit: The IBEX Team/Southwest Research Institute
IBEX Mission Update
— NASA explains how the IBEX mission and its revolutionary technology will help us understand the heliosphere and how it helps protect us from dangerous galactic cosmic rays. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
IBEX Launch and Deployment Animation — Note: The link will take you away from the IBEX mission website to the NASA website. The IBEX team designed a brand new concept for placing a small spacecraft into a high-altitude orbit. First, a Pegasus rocket dropped from an L-1011 airplane was used to deliver IBEX to an orbit around 120 miles (200 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. Then, a smaller solid rocket motor fired several times to raise the lowest point of IBEX’s orbit to around 5,000 miles (8000 kilometers) and the highest point to around 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface.
IBEX Orbit Visualization — Note: The link will take you away from the IBEX mission website to the NASA website. The IBEX spacecraft spins 4 times each minute and orbits Earth every 7.5 days. At its farthest point, the spacecraft is about 200,000 miles (360,000 kilometers) from Earth. In this animation, IBEX’s orbit is colored green and the Moon’s orbit is gray. Note: This visualization is not to scale. The IBEX spacecraft is only about 1 meter in diameter.
Journey To the Heliopause — Note: The link will take you away from the IBEX mission website to the NASA website. Our Solar System resides in a “bubble”, called the “heliosphere”. This bubble is inflated from the inside as charged particles from the Sun, called the “solar wind”, flow outward. Far from the Sun, the solar wind particles interact with particles located between the stars, called the “interstellar medium”. This interaction forms the boundary of our Solar System. IBEX was designed to orbit Earth and study this distant boundary.