NASA's Voyager 1 probe has been sailing towards the edge of the solar system since 1977, and is now in a turbulent region known as the heliosheath, where solar wind emanating from the sun is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas. Recently, Voyager 1 entered a series of strange and unexpected transitional regions 11 billion miles from the sun. Now, thanks to a complimentary mission, scientists will gain a bigger picture of what Voyager will encounter as it speeds out of our solar system.
The new data come from IBEX, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, which has achieved the first map of our solar system's tail, the heliotail. According to IBEX, the heliotail's shape resembles a four-leaf clover.