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Scientists working on NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission have nabbed their first direct glimpse of the so-called heliotail, the long trailing edge of the solar wind. Much to their surprise, three years of data from IBEX, as the Earth-orbiting craft is known, showed that the tail has a sort of clover shape, with separate "lobes" of faster- and slower-moving solar wind.
The scientists detailed their discovery in a study in the Astrophysical Journal and during an online news media event Wednesday.
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