What's Next for NASA's Voyager 2 in Interstellar Space?

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Stone said: "Well this just contributes to the number of discoveries that Voyager is making and this is one we hoped that we would be able to do and fortunately both Voyagers were working when they reached interstellar space and that was quite an achievement".

NASA's Voyager 2 is now the second human-made object to zip away from the sun into the space between the stars. On Dec. 10, 2018, NASA announced that Voyager 2 had joined Voyager 1 in interstellar space.

Voyager 2's new interstellar status is based on data from its Plasma Science Experiment (PLS), which logged a decrease in particles around the spacecraft that had been ejected from our sun.

Now, "Voyager 2" is at a distance of 18 billion kilometers from Earth and will be in touch in a few years.

Several researchers from MIT are working directly with data from the Voyager 2 plasma instrument.


Find out more in the video above.

The space agency said: "The boundary of the solar system is considered to be beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, a collection of small objects that are still under the influence of the sun's gravity". "Now we're studying the very local interstellar medium". This signified to NASA that, indeed, Voyager 2 was finally interstellar.

NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecraft in 1977 on a mission to explore the outer planets.

The spacecraft both carry records coated in gold, with instructions of how to play 90 minutes of human-made music, containing the likes of Bach, The Najavo, and the scintillating rock and roll of Chuck Berry - should any intelligent life ever come across either of the ancient craft in the vastness of interstellar space.

"We have an instrument which measures the wind coming from the sun, and we saw in fact that there was no longer any measurable solar wind", Edward Stone, the Voyager mission's project scientist, said in a video released Monday. Now the mission team is confident the spacecraft has joined its predecessor in passing beyond a key boundary called the heliopause and into interstellar space.


Dodd said they're closely watching the temperatures on Voyager 2, which are approaching the freezing point for its hydrazine fuel.

But once the Voyagers' main missions ended, the nuclear-powered robots kept going.

Three other instruments measured corresponding changes in cosmic rays, low-energy particles and magnetic field strength. Crossing that field will take somewhere in the realm of 30,000 years.

This was because the planned route for Voyager 2 was significantly longer, with it being set on a flyby course with numerous outer planets, revealing the first close-ups and important scientific data on planets such as Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. The width of the Oort Cloud is not known precisely, but it is estimated to begin at about 1,000 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun and to extend to about 100,000 AU.


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