Voyager 1 Drifts Into Unknown Region of Space
NASA calls it the 'magnetic highway'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2012 7:44 PM CST
This artists rendering provided by NASA shows the Voyager spacecraft.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – How to best learn about the edge of the solar system? Actually go there. NASA says its Voyager 1 spacecraft—which launched in 1977—has entered an area of the solar system that scientists didn't know about, the AP reports. "We do believe this may be the very last layer between us and interstellar space," says chief scientist Ed Stone. NASA is calling the region a "magnetic highway" where particles from inside the sun's magnetic sphere "zoom out, and higher-energy particles from outside to stream in."

Scientists based their conclusion on Voyager's instruments, which show a 1,000-fold decrease in low-energy particles from our solar system and a five-fold jump in high-energy particles from interstellar space, reports Huffington Post. Now Voyager 1 may stay in this in-between zone for two or three years, NASA says. Then comes its future in interstellar space, reports Scientific American: powering down around 2025 and passing a neighboring star in about 40,000 years. After that, it will be billions of years before it approaches another star.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Voyager 1 Drifts Into Unknown Region of Space is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 28 comments
Jun 24, 2013 10:26 PM CDT
This is awesome! Who would have known that we are actually feeling and touching the billions of Higgs-Boson invisble fibres that make up Space. This is really "To go where no one has gone before!" That is, no one from Earth. Plenty of other evidence that life exists out there. (ufo's) At every second that goes by, Voyager is first to see what may be there. Travis Walton was abducted by a space ship in Arizona. Only documented experience put through the tests. All 7 woodsmen passed lie detector tests given by the most qualified persons in Arizona at the time in November 1975. Travis Walton was returned 5 days later. I personally know the investigating officer, a man of impeccable character. Sheriff Marlin Gillespie. NASA and the FBI took their turn. Travis Walton lives in my hometown of Snowflake, AZ. Read his story. It's in Internet. Thus it is possible for Voyager I and II to be abducted and launched through a worm hole and come out in a new dimension and Multiverse. (universes) The trick here would be "How do they get back?" The trick is to make contact with the 4th kind. It's time not to be afraid of extra terrestial life if we are to gain from Voyager I and II. We must pray for this eventuallity. Remember, if they wanted to harm us, it would have happened centuries ago. We must work together. 1492
Dec 5, 2012 9:49 PM CST
40,000 years? Scotty! Get those warp engines on line now!!!
Dec 4, 2012 9:34 PM CST
the interesting part of the story is of the "magnetic highway" gravitational pull from other stars. This may hold a key to the possibility of generational star travel possibilities within the next century or two.....dont know for sure and none of you reading this will be able to prove it right or wrong.....just a thought of the possibility.