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Voyager 1, the most distant spacecraft from Earth, has reached a new milestone in its quest to leave the Solar System.
Now 17.4bn km (10.8bn miles) from home, the veteran probe has detected a distinct change in the flow of particles that surround it. These particles, which emanate from the Sun, are no longer travelling outwards but are moving sideways.
It means Voyager must be very close to making the jump to interstellar space — the space between the stars.
Edward Stone, the Voyager project scientist, lauded the explorer and the fascinating science it continues to return 33 years after launch. “When Voyager was launched, the space age itself was only 20 years old, so there was no basis to know that spacecraft could last so long,” he told BBC News.
Tag Archives | Voyager
With a golden record on board, it left the Earth 33 years ago. NASA installed the 12-inch disk containing music and greetings in 55 languages in case intelligent extraterrestrial life ever found it.
But now the Voyager 2 spacecraft is sending back what sounds like an answer: Signals in an unknown data format! The best scientific minds have so far not been able to decipher the strange information — is it a secret message?