Voyager 1 Enters Magnetic Highway, AKA the Last Step to Interstellar Space
December 5, 2012 7:46 AM
comment(s) - last by
NASA scientists say Voyager 1 could enter interstellar space anywhere from months to a couple of years from now
NASA's Voyager 1 is traveling through the last leg of its journey before
entering interstellar space
Voyager 1, which was launched into space in 1977 to eventually explore interstellar space and become the most distant human-made object, has reached a region that NASA scientists are calling a magnetic highway. This highway consists of charged particles where the sun's magnetic field lines are connected to interstellar magnetic field lines.
This area is still considered part of our heliosphere, which is a bubble of charged particles around the sun, because the direction of the magnetic field lines has not changed. The direction of these lines will change when Voyager 1 enters interstellar space, and scientists believe the magnetic highway is the last stretch before finally making it to interstellar space.
"Although Voyager 1 still is inside the sun's environment, we now can taste what it's like on the outside because the particles are zipping in and out on this magnetic highway," said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "We believe this is the last leg of our journey to interstellar space. Our best guess is it's likely just a few months to a couple years away. The new region isn't what we expected, but we've come to expect the unexpected from Voyager."
NASA scientists say Voyager 1 could enter interstellar space anywhere from months to a couple of years from now.
In July of this year, Voyager 1 received another clue that it was nearing interstellar space. In studying the bubble of charged particles, it
fastest rate of change
in two of three signs of changes expected to occur at this particular area. The three signs of changes are the rate in which levels of high-energy cosmic ray particles increase, the rate in which lower-energy particles decrease, and the direction of the magnetic field.
On July 28, levels of high-energy cosmic ray particles originating from outside our solar system increased by 5 percent. In the last half of that same day, lower-energy particles originating from inside our solar system decreased by half. Three days later, all levels returned to normal. This was the fastest rate of change observed so far.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
12/5/2012 11:54:26 AM
Should have a game of chess against the computer on Voyager, I would be all for it!
12/5/2012 2:54:26 PM
Tic-tac-toe so it can learn to avoid the other beings out in space...like Hutts, Shadows, and Romulans.
12/5/2012 5:02:16 PM
You might win. The processor is ... an RCA 1802 processor as I recall. It has a ... I think 128K addressable memory.
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
NASA's Voyager 1 Captures Fastest Pace of Changes on Edge of Solar System
August 8, 2012, 8:30 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
Cortana Help Button is Coming Soon for $23
July 30, 2015, 5:07 PM
EA Set to Milk the Star Wars Cash Cow w/ Video Games
July 31, 2015, 12:36 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information