NASA confirmed on Monday that the Voyager 2 probe left the Solar System. The object became the second, created by humans, to arrive in the Interstellar Space. The first was its predecessor – Voyager 1 – in September 2013.
To reach this stage, the spacecraft needed to exit the heliosphere, a protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun. According to the instruments on board, the moment the spacecraft crossed the outer edge occurred on November 5.
There is still much to learn about the region of interstellar space immediately beyond the heliopause. – Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist
The main evidence of the feat was the onboard plasma science experiment (PLS). The instrument consists of using the electric current of the plasma that was from the Sun to identify the speed, density, temperature, pressure, and flow of the solar wind. Since the date of last week, there has been a considerable reduction in particle velocity.
Voyager has a very special place for us in our fleet of heliophysics. Our studies begin in the Sun and extend to all that the solar wind touches. Getting Voyagers to send information about the limit of the Sun’s influence gives us an unprecedented glimpse of truly uncharted territory. – Nicola Fox, Director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters
NASA scientists have already expected the probe to be near Interstellar Space since early October. It took about a month for this to happen. According to the researchers’ estimates, Voyager 2 will lose contact with the base only in 2030. Until then, the spacecraft will still be able to send a lot of information to the space agency.