Recently, NASA engineers successfully reset the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft after it went into contingency mode for 3 weeks.


About Interstellar Boundary Explorer

  • NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) was launched in October 2008 to study the outer edge of the heliosphere.
  • The spacecraft is designed to map the boundary where winds from the Sun interact with winds from other stars.
  • The solar system’s boundary is studied by observing energetic neutral atoms or ENAs.
  • ENAs are high-energy particles produced at the very edge of our solar system.
  • Major discoveries of IBEX —
      • This spacecraft fully mapped the heliosphere within a year after its launch.
      • Its most famous discovery is uncovering a dense region of particles, the ‘IBEX ribbon.


What is Heliosphere?

Heliosphere is the region where the constant flow of particles from our Sun, called the solar wind, collides with material from the rest of the galaxy.