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October 16, 2009

Scientifically Illiterate Discovery Channel is Confused by the Difference Between our Solar System and an Entire Galaxy

As if we didn't already have reason to doubt after the interminable "Green Week" productions, Discovery Channel's news division is running this headline right now:

Ribbon of Particles Seen at Galaxy's Edge

The problem? IBEX is observing stellar material at the Solar System's edge.

As the solar wind reaches the edge of the solar system and collides with the interstellar medium, a shock wave forms, heating particles which then stream away from the boundary.

"We have discovered an arc-shaped ribbon of high-pressure material that looks to be piled-up material from the Sun," says team member Herbert Funsten. "The IBEX maps and the discovery of the ribbon are completely different from what we thought it should look like. We were expecting tie-dye and instead found noodle soup."

A slightly more complex discussion of the phenomena, including speculation on why the Voyager probes missed it is here.

Yes, I'm geeking out on this Friday afternoon. No, I'm not back.

UPDATE [5:09pm PST]: Looks like someone pointed out Discovery Channel's idiocy. They fixed the headline.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 04:11 PM

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