CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (July 10, 2013)--Scientists revealed images Wednesday showing that the solar system has a tail that emanates from the bullet-shaped region of space under the grip of the sun, including the solar system and beyond in a region known as the heliosphere.
They call it the heliotail.
The findings were based on data from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, which was launched in 2008.
Scientists always presumed the heliosphere had a tail, but now they have the first real data on its shape.
Chief IBEX investigator David McComas, who's with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said it's difficult to calculate the length of the heliotail whose evaporating end could stretch 100 billion miles.