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NASA's voyager 2 becames 2nd spacecraft to reaches interstaller space

NASA's voyager 2 becames second spacecraft to reaches the interstellar space.

More then four decades after begining it's epic journey, NASA's voyager 2 spacecraft has crossed the elusive boundary that marks the edge of the sun's realm and the start of the interstaller space .

interstaller space

Interstaller space

More than four decades after begining of it's epic journey, NASA's voyager 2 spacecraft has crossed the elusive boundary that marks the edge of the sun's realm and start of interstellar space, scientist have announced.

According to the reaserchers at the University of lowa in the US, voyager 2 has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the bubble-shaped boundary produced by wind streaming outward from the sun.

interstaller space

Interstaller space

This makes voyager 2 the second human-made object to journey out of the sun's influence, following the US space agency's voyager 1's solar exit in 2012.

The study, published in journal Nature Astronomy, confirmed voyager 2's passage on November 5, 2018, into the ISM by noting a definitive jump in plasma density detected by plasma waves instrument on the spacecraft.

The marked increase in plasma density is evidence of voyager 2 journeying from the hot, lower-density plasma characteristic of the solar wind to the cool, higher-density plasma of interstellar space, the researchers said.
It is also similar to the plasma density jump experienced by voyager 1 when it crossed into interstellar space, they said.
"In our historical sense, the old idea that the solar wind will just be gradually whittled away as you go further into interstellar space is simply not true," said professor Don Gurnett from the University of lowa, and corresponding author on the study. 
"We show with voyager 2 -- and previously with voyager 1 -- that there's a distinct boundary out there. It's just astonishing how fluids, including plasmas, from boundaries," Gurnett said. 
Voyager 2's entry into the ISM occured at 119.7 astronomical units (AU), or more than 11 billion miles from the sun.voyager 1 passed into the ISM at 122.6 AU.
The spacecraft was launched within of each other by NASA in 1977, with different mission goals and trajectories through space. yet they crossed into the ISM at basically the same distances from the sun. 
That gives valuable clues to the structure of the heliosphere -- the bubble, shaped much like a windsock, created by Sun's wind as it extents to the boundary of the solar system, the researchers said.
"It  implies that the heliosphere is symmetric, at least at the two points where the Voyager spacecraft crossed," said Bill Kurth, University of lowa research scientist and a co-author on the study.
"That says these two points on the surface are almost at the same distance,"Kurth said.
"There's almost a spherical front to this. It's like a blunt bullet," Burnett added.
Data from the instrument on voyager 2 also gives additional clues to the thickness of the heliosheath, the outer region of the heliosphere and the point where the solar wind piles up against the approaching wind in interstellar space. 

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