Our solar system isn’t the good old circle or oval you might have thought it is. According to research reported on this week by National Geographic News, it is bullet-shaped.

National Geographic:

The system travels within a bubble of solar wind — made of charged particles from the sun — called the heliosphere.

The edge of this bubble collides with the Milky Way galaxy’s magnetic field at a distance some 200 times farther from the sun than Earth is.

A research team led by Merav Opher at Virginia’s George Mason University found that, just outside the solar system, this interstellar magnetic field is inclined at a 60-degree angle relative to the plane of the Milky Way.

The solar system takes on its streamlined shape as it strikes the magnetic field at this angle, Opher explained.

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