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quote:THE outer boundary of the solar system is distorted as though it has been punched from below. The evidence comes from NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft, which is about to cross the inner boundary even though it is closer to the sun than its twin spacecraft was when it crossed in 2004.The Voyager craft have been racing out of the solar system for 30 years. "They're a pair of old fridges out there," says astrophysicist Merav Opher from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who has used the data to simulate the shape of the heliosphere, the huge magnetic bubble that contains the solar system, the solar wind and the sun's magnetic field.The simplest evidence that the heliosphere must be distorted comes from Voyager 2, flying south of the solar system's equator. The probe has started to feel the effects of the termination shock, where the solar wind, speeding away from the sun at 1.6 million kilometres per hour, slams into the slower interstellar wind. For more than two years before Voyager 1 passed out of the heliosphere, its instruments detected energetic particles that appeared to be coming from the termination shock. Now Robert Decker of Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland, reports that Voyager 2 is picking up similar particles.