International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

1st-ever 3D map of Local Bubble’s magnetic fields


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Local Bubble

Mains level: Not Much


Researchers have generated a 3D magnetic map of the giant cosmic cavity called Local Bubble that surrounds the solar system could reveal the universe’s secrets, including questions about the origins of stars.

What is the Local Bubble?

  • The Local Bubble is a 1,000-light-year-wide cavity or a super-bubble.
  • It is a relative cavity in the interstellar medium (ISM) of the Orion Arm in the Milky Way.
  • Local Bubble is thought to have originated from supernovae roughly 14 million years ago. Supernova is a cosmic explosion occurring when stars meet their end.
  • Space is full of these super-bubbles that trigger the formation of new stars and planets and influence the overall shapes of galaxies.

How are they formed?

  • Super-bubbles are comparable to holes in Swiss cheese. Supernova explosions blow holes in the cheese. New stars form around these holes.
  • However, mechanisms powering the formation and expansion of the Local Bubble are not well-understood.
  • Further, there is little information on how magnetic fields likely impact the bubble and local star formation.
  • Max Planck has provided information on the magnetic alignment of cosmic dust. This alignment can indicate the orientation of the magnetic field acting on the dust particles.


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