NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft is now flying through the stars

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft is now flying through the stars

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft is now flying through the stars

At 4pm today, Nasa will hold a press conference called "Voyager 2: Updates on the Journey to Interstellar Space". After that, it picked up no solar wind flow, indicating the probe's entry into interstellar space.

This illustration shows the positions of the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes in interstellar space, outside the heliosphere.

The fringe of our solar system is called the heliosphere, marking the edge of the "bubble" formed by the solar wind and the beginning of the "interstellar medium". Other instruments on Voyager 2 have corroborated the theory.

Technically, however, Voyager 2 is still in the distant realms of the solar system.

'The Voyagers are destined-perhaps eternally-to wander the Milky Way'.

"Voyager has a very special place for us", said Nicola Fox, director of the heliophysics division at Nasa.

Both Voyager space crafts are loaded with memorabilia from Earth's culture, including a Golden Record of Earth, which is comprised of sounds, pictures and messages. NASA noticed the PLS saw a serious decline in the speed of solar wind particles on November 5.

Voyager 2 exits the heliosphere

It is now more than 11 billion miles from Earth, though NASA is still able to communicate with the craft.

Voyager 2 moved past the boundary of the heliosphere, the protective bubble defined by the sun's magnetic field and electrically charged solar wind, on November 5.

The Voyager spacecraft, launched as five-year missions, have now been operating for over four decades and continue to transmit valuable data back to Earth, and have even been remotely upgraded along the way.

"Working on Voyager makes me feel like an explorer, because everything we're seeing is new", said John Richardson, a principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The spacecraft, which launched August 20, 1977, at a cost of $895 million, was primarily created to study the outer planets, notably Jupiter and Saturn. "Now we're looking forward to what we'll be able to learn from having both probes outside the heliopause". For starters, it makes sense to say that the Solar System extends to the edge of the influence of the Sun.

A specialized instrument aboard Voyager 2, the Plasma Science Experiment, played an important role in confirming that Voyager 2 had left the protective heliosphere.

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