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Hubble telescope detects ‘ghostly light’ surrounding our solar system

Sunday, December 11, 2022 01:20 PM

Researchers using data from the Hubble Space Telescope have made a strange discovery: a “ghostly light” that surrounds our solar system. When light from stars, planets, and even starlight glare scattered by dust is accounted for, there is still some “extra” light detected and astronomers are trying to figure out where it is coming from.

Researchers looked at 200,000 Hubble images in a project called SKYSURF, looking for any excess light coming from known sources, and found a faint, steady glow that could indicate previously unknown structure in our solar system. One suggestion is that there could be a ball of dust surrounding the solar system, which reflects sunlight and causes the glow.

There is support for this idea from NASA’s New Horizons mission, which flew by Pluto in 2015 and is now heading into interstellar space. As it passed through the planets of the solar system and beyond, the mission detected a faint glow of background light, although this glow was not as strong as The recently discovered flare, Digitartlends reported.

“If our analysis is correct, then there is another dust element between us and the distance that New Horizons made the measurements, that means this is some kind of additional light coming from within our solar system,” said one of the researchers, Tim Carlton of Arizona State University, in a statement, “given Because our measurement of residual light is higher than New Horizons, we believe it is a local phenomenon not far from the solar system. It may be a new component of the solar system’s contents that has been postulated but not yet quantified.”

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The source of this hypothetical cloud of dust is comets. These clumps of rock and ice pass through the solar system from all different directions. As they approach the sun, they heat up and emit particles of dust and ice. This could explain the existence of the ball of dust, which has remained hidden until now because it needed very large amounts of images from a highly sensitive instrument such as Hubble to observe.

Source : Technology News: Hubble Telescope detects ‘ghostly light’ surrounding our solar system