The blue “globe” in this illustration is a representation of our heliosphere – the sphere of our sun’s influence – sometimes described as a “bubble” around our sun. Outside the heliosphere is interstellar space, the space between the stars. This model shows the interstellar magnetic fields – which, if our sun weren’t in the way, would be straight – warping around the outside of our heliosphere as it travels through the space of our Milky Way galaxy. The red arrow shows the direction in which our sun and its solar system moves through the galaxy. Read more about this illustration from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.