Your model can bring together two structures in the sky that were previously thought to be unconnected.
An astronomer has proposed a bold model showing that the entire solar system is surrounded by a huge magnetic tunnel.
The model focuses on two large structures in the sky: the north polar spur and the fan region, according to a press release by University of Toronto. While the structures appear to have been discontinuous since their discovery in the 1960s, a research team at the university led by astronomer Dr. Jennifer West now because they are actually part of a huge, tunnel-like magnetic field that surrounds the solar system.
“If we looked up at the sky, we would see these tunnel-like structures in almost every direction we looked — that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light,” West said in a press release. He and his team have published their results in science.
To reach his conclusion, West built his own computer model to simulate what the radio sky would look like from Earth. As such, the team can assume that, according to the press release, the two structures are connected by magnetic filaments “like a rope”.
West estimates that the structure is about 350 light-years from our solar system and nearly 1,000 light-years in length. “That’s the equivalent of two trillion trips between Toronto and Vancouver,” West said in a press release.
The team plans to complete more complex modeling in the future – in hopes of uncovering and understanding the role of magnetic tunnels in galaxies.
“Magnetic fields don’t exist in isolation. They all need to be connected,” West said in a press release. “So the next step is to better understand how these local magnetic fields are connected to the magnetic fields of large-scale galaxies and the magnetic fields of smaller ones from our sun and earth.”
He added, “I like to imagine these structures are everywhere when we look up at the night sky.”
CONTINUE READING: Dunlap Astronomer discovered that we may be surrounded by tunnel-like structures [University of Toronto]
More about the galaxy: Scientists baffled by radio waves coming from our own galaxy
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