Skip to comments.Voyager 1 has entered a new region of space, sudden changes in cosmic rays indicate
Posted on 03/20/2013 2:57:50 PM PDT by LibWhacker
WASHINGTON Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.
The heliosphere is a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles, and which is thought to be enclosed, bubble-like, in the surrounding interstellar medium of gas and dust that pervades the Milky Way galaxy.
On August 25, 2012, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere, all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system spiked to levels not seen since Voyager's launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.
The findings have been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
"Within just a few days, the heliospheric intensity of trapped radiation decreased, and the cosmic ray intensity went up as you would expect if it exited the heliosphere," said Bill Webber, professor emeritus of astronomy at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He calls this transition boundary the "heliocliff."
In the GRL article, the authors state: "It appears that [Voyager 1] has exited the main solar modulation region, revealing [hydrogen] and [helium] spectra characteristic of those to be expected in the local interstellar medium."
However, Webber notes, scientists are continuing to debate whether Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space or entered a separate, undefined region beyond the solar system.
"It's outside the normal heliosphere, I would say that," Webber said. "We're in a new region. And everything we're measuring is different and exciting."
That is very and what we need to be doing more of as a nation. Push the boundaries, explore beyond what we know, and discover!
At least it didn’t bounce off of the heliopause.
As my Dad always said when I went out to ride my bike, “Write if you get work...”
Well done, V1....
NASA would certainly serve us better as a modern Lewis and Clark agency with private industry following to open the frontier.
11 billion miles from the sun in 35 years, meh...
Obama spent 6$ trillion in four.
Actually, a very cool report, but the sun is at a very weak solar max and I would guess the heliosheath is somewhat compact.
Nothing leaves the heliosphere!
There was a time when the US was bold enough to accomplish this. Now, we’d rather pay for federally funded abortions, sex reassignment surgeries, and all of the other freebies our government bought votes with.
Confusion! How does this ‘reach out’ and help Muslims feel better about themselves. Mohammed didn’t launch interstellar probes so we should not either. It’s offensive.
We got our money’s worth out of this one.
an interesting bttt
V’Ger will return ;-)
And yes I know it was Voyager 6 in the movie.
Another era, another time.
My daughter was a jet mechanic on the 117 and 22. She always knew of my lost over the A12/SR71s and one day she took me to the Tucson museum to see the one there. Keep in mind her then-job working on the best of the best and the fact she had never seen one of these beasts in the flesh. in the flesh.
Long story short her mind could not grasp that it was built 50 years ago. And on the engine they had on display with mechanical actuators consisting of wheels and ‘rubber bands’, I thought she was going to have ‘a moment’.
What we did then/that era, in space and aeronautics will likely never be repeated until warp drive becomes real. Thanks to our Govt.
Edit - Lost = Lust
How long does it take to get “data” back from this craft ?
From a different report,
“”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.”
I bet it tastes like microwave chicken...
Sometimes I think Voyager will be sending messages back to a world reduced to scavengers killing each other with sticks for a potato.
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