Homehttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/Sciencehttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/What Voyager 2 learned after spending a year in interstellar space
What Voyager 2 learned after spending a year in interstellar space
Only two spacecraft of humanity have left the solar system: NASA Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Voyager 1 left the heliosphere in 2012, while Voyager 2 did the same on November 5, 2018. Now Voyager 2 is in interstellar space space for one year, and five new papers present the scientific results of that one year.
The heliosphere is an area of space in the form of a balloon with our Sun in the center. Think of it as an inflated cavity filled with plasma coming from the sun. The end of the bubble is where the plasma from our Sun gives way to the interstellar medium (ISM.) Voyager 2 left the heliosphere behind and entered the interstellar space about 18 billion km (11 miles) from Earth.
Each of the five documents contains the results of one of the five scientific instruments of Voyager 2:
magnetic field sensor
two instruments that detect energy particles in different energy ranges
two instruments that study plasma [Itisremarkablethatthesetoolsdesignedandbuiltdecadesagoarestillfunctioningandcollectingnewdata
It takes decades for Voyager 2 to reach heliopause, the distinction between interstellar space and our solar system. As only the second spacecraft to reach it, Voyager 2 is able to give us unique scientific studies for the region. They are unique because Voyager 1
left the heliosphere in a different place, six years before. Voyager 2 data is also unique, as one of its devices used for plasma measurement is still working while the Voyager 1 counterparty tool stopped functioning decades ago.