This artist’s concept shows plasma flows around NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft as it approaches interstellar space. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL

Voyager 1 Enters Final Region Of Our Solar System Before Interstellar Space

By Mike Killian

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, which left Earth some 35 years ago, continues on an epic journey across the solar system towards an inevitable crossing into interstellar space. The spacecraft has travelled farther than any man-made object ever has, and recent data sent from the spacecraft shows it is now pushing through a new region at the very edge of our known solar system, a “magnetic highway” that scientists feel is the final region before crossing into deep space.

This previously unknown (and unexpected) region at the edge of our solar system is where our sun’s magnetic field lines connect with the magnetic field lines of interstellar space, nicknamed by NASA as the “magnetic highway”. Low-energy charged particles from our solar bubble, known as the heliosphere, zoom out and allow higher-energy particles from interstellar space to zoom in. Before entering this region, the particles would zip around in all directions, but particles from deep space are now streaming over Voyager 1 regularly, something that has not been seen consistently before.

The new data alone does not suggest Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space because the direction of the suns magnetic field lines has not yet changed, but the data does show the region Voyager 1 is traveling through is rapidly changing. The influence of the sun is becoming less and less, while the influence from interstellar space is growing stronger.

Read more: Voyager 1 Enters Final Region Of Our Solar System Before Interstellar Space « AmericaSpace.

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