41 Years After Its Launch, NASA’s ‘Voyager 2’ Enters Interstellar Space
By Yoon Sann Wong, 11 Dec 2018
This illustration shows the position of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, outside of the heliosphere, a protective bubble created by the Sun that extends well past the orbit of Pluto. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s ‘Voyager 2’ has gone interstellar, and no, it’s not the one with Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan.
The space agency has been enjoying a fruitful close to the year 2018; after celebrating the safe landing of its ‘InSight’ spacecraft on Mars, NASA has confirmed that its ‘Voyager 2’ probe has entered interstellar space—a medium that exists in the area between the star systems in the galaxy—41 years since its launch in 1977.
It’s now in the company of ‘Voyager 1’, which made the breakthrough back in 2012. ‘Voyager 2’ will be able to provide more information about what lies beyond the heliosphere, an area described by NASA as “the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.”
To celebrate the occasion, NASA has launched a short video that explains the significance of this feat.
Considering the craft was launched four decades ago, project manager for ‘Voyager’, Suzanne Dodd, puts things into perspective, “[T]hink about what the technology was. Your smartphone has 200,000 times more memory than what the ‘Voyager’ spacecraft has.”
‘Voyager 2’, which was launched several weeks before ‘Voyager 1’, is NASA’s longest running project.
In related news, check out NASA’s mind-blowing ultra HD photo of the sun that lets you safely stare at it in awe.
LIVE NOW: Hear directly from the mission team about long-lived @NASAVoyager 2's crossing into #interstellar space 🌟 https://t.co/NZ8Id9ErdH— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) December 10, 2018
We'll be answering more questions online after the #AGU18 briefing. Tag yours #askNASA. pic.twitter.com/wHacjYnT0b
[via CNET, video via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, main image via NASA/JPL-Caltech]
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