Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
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Voyager 2 On The Verge Of Entering Interstellar Space Says NASA

Voyager 2 On The Verge Of Entering Interstellar Space Says NASA

Spacecraft the Voyager series was created by jet propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

And because Voyager 2 isn't following precisely in its predecessor's steps, scientists aren't positive that its cosmic exit will result in identical changes to the data that the spacecraft reports.

Since August, the Cosmic Ray Subsystem (CRS) on Voyager 2 measured a roughly 5 percent increase in the rate of cosmic rays reaching the spacecraft as compared to early August.

The team behind Voyager 2 knows that the spacecraft is now nearly 11 billion miles (17.7 billion kilometers) away from Earth. Throughout the Solar System, the wind from the Sun exerts an outward pressure.

"NASA's Voyager-2, are now on the path to interstellar space, has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate from outside our solar system", the article says.

"We're seeing a change in the environment around Voyager 2, there's no doubt about that", said Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone. - We learn much in the coming months, but we still have no idea when we reach the heliopause.

In May 2012, Voyager 1 experienced an increase in the rate of cosmic rays approximately three months before Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause and entered interstellar space. According to scientists, the reserves of fuel (the energy it receives from radioisotope generators, which run on plutonium-238), will allow devices of Voyager to remain operable for another ten years. A motion from Voyager 1, voyaging at the speed of light, takes 17 hours one way to communicate with Earth.

Lasting longer than ever expected, Voyager 2 continued through the solar system to Uranus and Neptune.

Heliopause is a bubble around the Solar system, formed by the solar wind - a stream of charged particles continuously emitted from the Sun. Accordingly, the difference in locations between the two space probes might indicate a different exit timeline for Voyager 2 in comparison to Voyager 1. Even though Voyager 2 saw an increase in cosmic rays, the team doesn't exactly know when the probe crosses the heliopause.

However, one thing is sure, namely, that Voyager 2 is approaching interstellar space and it would become the second human-made spacecraft to achieve that feat after its twin, Voyager 1. Its adventures in the outer solar system led to the discovery of new moons around the gas giant planets.

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