11 December 2018
Reuters reports that NASA’s Voyager 2 probe, “launched in 1977 and designed for just a five-year mission, has become only the second human-made object to enter interstellar space as it continues its marathon trek billions of miles (km) from Earth, scientists said on Monday.” Data from instruments aboard the spacecraft “showed it crossed the outer edge of the heliosphere, a protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields produced by the sun, on Nov. 5, the U.S. space agency said.” In a news briefing, Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone said, “This is a very exciting time again in Voyager’s 41-year journey, so far, of exploring the planets and now the heliosphere and entering interstellar space.” Voyager 2’s Plasma Science Experiment (PLS) instrument is able to “provide observations of the nature of this region of space.” Although Voyager 1 is “still going strong on its own journey in interstellar space, its PLS stopped working in 1980.” The Voyager probes were designed to last five years. The two probes “have not officially exited the solar system, whose outermost region is a shell called the Oort Cloud.” (Image: NASA’s Voyager 2. Credit: JPL/NASA)
More Info (Reuters)