Astronomers have found a mysterious “ghost glow” surrounding our solar system, and they’re not sure where it’s coming from yet.
Scientists say the faint glow persists even when other light sources, such as stars and planets, are subtracted.
Scientists made this discovery when astronomers set out to see how dark space could be, which they did by examining 200,000 images taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, removing expected light sources (stars and planets), and searching for any glow in the sky. the background. They found a slight excess of light prevalent.
Scientists found that the amount of light is as small as 10 fireflies (luminous beetles) scattered across the sky around our solar system. But scientists are still baffled by the glow, and still need to know its exact source.
The glow may be caused by an unknown structure within our solar system, scientists speculate. It may include a ball of dust formed by comets falling into the solar system, which reflects sunlight.
However, this dust envelope remains hypothetical and, if real, would change our understanding of the structure of the solar system.
In 2021, the New Horizons probe also detected a small amount of background light in the solar system. This light also remains unexplained, and possible explanations suggested have included a hidden distant galaxy cluster to the decaying dark matter.
However, the light detected by New Horizons was less intense than that in the Hubble images. This may be because New Horizons was far away, about 4 or 5 billion miles from the sun.
This leads scientists to believe that the light comes from within our nearby solar system.
Taken together, the two results indicate that the solar system may contain some elements that have not been measured before.
The findings are reported in new papers published in The Astronomical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters.