Scientists have recently discovered unexpected behavior at the edge of our solar system, specifically in the heliopause—the boundary separating the heliosphere from the interstellar medium.
Data from Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, the only spacecraft to have exited the heliosphere, along with NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite, have shown that the heliopause is not static but changes shape over time.
However, new findings have surfaced that challenge existing models. IBEX captured data in 2014 that indicated brightening of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), suggesting asymmetries in the heliopause that were inconsistent with previous models. Additionally, data from the Voyager spacecraft revealed that the heliopause underwent dramatic changes in a short period, explaining the gap between the two probes' entry into interstellar space in 2012 and 2018.
These discrepancies have been described as "intriguing and potentially controversial" in a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy. Researchers plan to continue their study of the heliopause with NASA's upcoming Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe, set to launch in 2025. Until then, the unusual ripples at the edge of our solar system remain an eerie and unexplained phenomenon.