All is serious! NASA Voyager 2 spacecraft has reached interstellar space

All is serious! NASA Voyager 2 spacecraft has reached interstellar space

The artistic vision of Voyager-2 and his travels in the solar system

The time has come to wave one of the most legendary explorers of our century! NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft entered interstellar space. NASA representatives made an announcement on the eve of a press conference at the annual meeting of the Geophysical Union.

The device started in 1977 and spent more than 40 years studying the Solar System, becoming the most famous experimental researcher of Neptune and Uranus. Now he has joined his predecessor, Voyager 1, outside the influence of the Sun.

All is serious! NASA Voyager 2 spacecraft has reached interstellar space

The figure shows the location of a NASA Voyager spacecraft in interstellar space. The news was announced on December 10, 2018. Voyager 1 reached milestone in 2012

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to visit all 4 gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and discovered 16 satellites, as well as such phenomena as the Great Dark Spot of Neptune, cracks in the European ice crust and ring features on the planets.

Researchers have been following the descending ship since the end of August, when data began to indicate an approach to the heliopause — a bubble created by the solar wind of charged particles. Scientists use heliopause to indicate where interstellar space begins. Outside the bubble, a spacecraft receives more cosmic rays. Two devices on Voyager-2 track these high-energy particles. It was difficult to predict the exact date, because this is only the second device that managed to cross the bubble with the recording of events on the devices. Voyager 1 did the same in 2012. Heliopause does not form an ideal sphere, since it contracts and expands with the ebb and flow of the solar wind. Therefore, we had to keep a close eye on the end of August, analyzing the incoming data.

The oddities began on November 5, hinting at the beginning of the heliopause. Scientists were thrilled, because Voyager-2 was a tool that stopped functioning on the first device long before the event - the Plasma Science Experiment. That is, we get a completely new data type.

The vehicles started from one point (planet Earth), but moved in different ways, therefore they provide different information. Voyager-2 recorded some strange indicators that have not yet been explained. In addition, at the exit point of Voyager-2, the bubble is able to grow. The device will continue to transmit data to Earth, while it can. As a result, the supply of plutonium supplying the device will dry out and the probe will turn off the devices in turn. It is expected that after 2025 the probe will completely subside.

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