Automatic spacecraft space Agency NASA “Voyager-2” has finally left the heliosphere – the region of space near the sun where the solar wind plasma is moving relative to the Sun at supersonic speed. Thus the unit became the second man-made space probe entered into interstellar space. First, we recall, is his “twin brother”, has made this achievement in 2012.
Scientists from NASA reported that “Voyager-2” has crossed heliopause (the boundary between the heliosphere of the solar system and interstellar space), on 5 November and is now more than 17.7 billion kilometers from Earth.
“I think we are all very happy with the fact that both Voyager had been able to work for so long that it allowed them to make this achievement. We all are waiting for. Can’t wait to get the new data from both probes on the outside of the heliopause,” commented the curator of the project “Voyager” Suzanne Dodd.
In October of this year, the American space Agency reported that “Voyager 2” closer to the outer boundary of the heliopause and soon beyond. At that time, the sensors of the apparatus said energy was of charged particles. The most essential role in the proof output apparatus of the heliosphere played data obtained by the tool PLS (Plasma Science Experiment), which determines the velocity, density, temperature and pressure of the ambient plasma environment, mainly consisting of solar wind particles.
General view of the tool and the data from the three sensors
The fifth of November instrument “Voyager-2” has registered a sharp decline in the speed of solar wind particles, and further showed no signs of the presence of the solar wind flow near the probe, which suggests that the device really left the boundary of the heliosphere. The same thing happened with “Voyager-1” in 2012.
The other three on-Board scientific instrument “Voyager-2” – subsystem analysis of cosmic radiation, the analyzer low-energy charged particle and magnetometer – also received and transmitted to Earth data that indicate that the device went beyond the boundary of the heliosphere.
The probe “Voyager 2” was launched to study the Solar system in 1977. The machine was able to bond with all four giant planets and explore them, and then headed to the outskirts of the Solar system. It was planned that the probe will work no more than five years but in August of 2018 its mission celebrated its 41 year anniversary. Now the probe is at a distance of about 120 astronomical units from Earth (the most remote man-made object is the “Voyager-1” — distance to the Earth is nearly 145 astronomical units).
Despite the fact that both spacecraft left the heliosphere, technically they are still within the Solar system. They will be able to leave only after to cross the Oort Cloud, a cluster of gas, dust and other very remote from the inner edge of the Solar system objects that still affects the solar gravity. Although officially unknown what the length may be from this area, the researchers suggest, “Voyager-2” will require about three hundred years to reach the inner boundary of the Oort Cloud and possibly about 30 thousand years to fly through it.