NASA's Voyager 2 reaches interstellar space | Life , Sci&Tech

Voyager 2 becomes second craft in interstellar space

Voyager 2 becomes second craft in interstellar space

The twins are the only two spacecraft ever to venture so far from home. The instrument observed a "deep decline" in solar particles after november 5, 2018, confirming the craft had entered the interstellar realm.

However, just because the probes have left the heliosphere doesn't mean they have left our solar system.

"Working on Voyager makes me feel like an explorer, because everything we're seeing is".

Data from the spacecraft shows that Voyager 2 crossed the outer edge of the heliosphere on November 5, NASA said. "So we're still seeing things that no one has seen before". Our solar system is huge and goes way beyond its last planet. It's been cruising through space for over 41 years and traveled an incredible 18.5 billion miles in that time. "Since the spacecraft could last billions of years, these circular time capsules could one day be the only traces of human civilization", says NASA. As a comparison, Pluto's average distance from the sun is "only" 40 AU!

But once the Voyagers' main missions ended, the nuclear-powered robots kept going.

The twin Voyager spacecraft were launched in 1977 on a mission to explore the solar system's gas giant planets. But both missions have raised questions about our solar system's true boundary.

According to Ed Stone, a project scientist for the Voyager Mission, the data taken from Voyager 2 has been markedly different from Voyager 1. Despite the great distance, flight controllers are still in contact with Voyager 2. That is a zone between 0.16 and 1.6 light-years away from the sun.

Hundreds of People From Migrant Caravan Breach US-Mexican Border
There are some 5,600 migrants at the Albergue Benito Juarez shelter in Tijuana, according to the local municipal police. The group was observed coming down on the USA side of the wall by a Border Patrol camera operator.

Voyager 2 carries something unique: the Plasma Science Experiment instrument.

"There are two winds pushing on each other", Stone said, "the solar wind from the inside pushing out and the interstellar wind pushing back in, in balance". Prior to this, Voyager 2 crossed a region known as the termination shock back in 2007, where the speed of the solar wind dropped dramatically as it began to encounter interstellar particles and radiation.

But what of the Voyager 1?

But until then, long may the explorations continue. They were able to perform not only this task, but also research and other distant planets of the Solar system. They were to forge their way through our Sun's domain, and become the first human-made objects to break through into interstellar space. Most researchers assume it's in interstellar space by now, but it did not have a functioning PLS onboard as it exited the heliosphere. And it's an incredible feat for a spacecraft created to last five years.

However, for all practical purposes, both spacecraft are in interstellar space or the space between stars. "A mildly close encounter with one of those could change the itinerary of the Voyagers".

'The Voyagers are destined-perhaps eternally-to wander the Milky Way'. But it will be in orbit around the centre of our galaxy with all its stars for billions of years.

"We didn't even know how long a spacecraft could operate for", he added.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.