This makes Voyager 2 the second human-made object to journey out of the Solar's affect, following the United States area company's Voyager 1's photo voltaic exit in 2012. Scientists expected that the edge of the heliosphere, called the heliopause, can move as the Sun's activity changes, sort of like a lung expanding and contracting with breath.
Models predicted Voyager 2 would reach the hydrogen wall first, but the latest numbers suggest the wall's thickness varies. Scientists shared the findings for the first time via five papers published in the journal, Nature Astronomy. These include a magnetic field sensor, two instruments that detect energetic particles from different energy ranges, and two instruments to observe plasma. Taken together, the findings help paint a picture of this cosmic shoreline, where the environment created by our Sun ends and the vast ocean of interstellar space begins. It made its last planetary observation of Uranus in 1989, nearly a decade after Voyager 1 had started its long march toward the edge of the solar system. Both the heliosphere and interstellar space are filled with plasma, a gas that has had some of its atoms stripped of their electrons. The one in our heliosphere is hot and scattered, and in interstellar space, it is colder and more condensed.
The Voyager 2 space probe has been launched by NASA into space over four decades ago, but only now it managed to get out of the Solar System.
Scientists hoped to answer a number of questions by comparing data sent back by the two probes, which pierced the Sun's protective bubble at different angles and locations. Though its transition shares similarities with Voyager 1's, these initial results have revealed a previously unobserved area of interaction between particles from space and particles from the Sun.More news: Stephen Thompson: Jorge Masvidal is ‘different fighter from when I fought him’
The two probes' heliopause crossings occurred at similar distances from the Sun: For Voyager 1, it was at 121.6 astronomical units, and for Voyager 2, it was 119 astronomical units (one AU equals the average distance from Earth to the Sun). "Once we left the heliosphere, we continued to see particles leaking from the inside out".
But Voyager 2 did experience a whole raft of other magnetic experiences from discovering a "magnetic barrier" in the heliosheath adjacent to the heliopause as well as a stronger interstellar magnetic field directly beyond it.
New Horizons, the next-most-distant active mission, will run out of power at about 90 AU, so it won't be able to report in when it reaches the boundary that the Voyagers have identified.
Both Voyager probes launched in 1977, with Voyager 2 heading into space a few weeks before Voyager 1.More news: OR ranked No. 7 in CFB playoff poll: Why it doesn't matter
Voyager 2 has now gone through the same process of moving into interstellar space, but it had a somewhat different experience from its earlier sibling. Astronomers are interested in those details because they can teach us more about such boundaries around stars other than the sun. In a new study, scientists have confirmed that the spacecraft is now outside the bubble-shaped region created by the sun's wind, known as the heliosphere. The space between stars also contains cosmic rays. These influences are limited by the influence of our galaxy, which has its own magnetic field and an interstellar medium full of its own charged particles.
The scientists learned through Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 data of their crossings that particles of solar wind and of the interstellar space wind actually spill across the boundary. "It's just astonishing how fluids, including plasmas, form boundaries", Gurnett said. Voyager 2 observed that the plasma outside the heliosphere is slightly warmer than expected, which could also indicate it is being compressed. 2019. Plasma densities near and beyond the heliopause from the Voyager 1 and 2 plasma wave instruments.
During that transition, Voyager 1 saw a gradual increase of high-energy cosmic rays, but these were punctuated by two spikes where high-energy cosmic rays suddenly rose.More news: Goods worth millions of naira destroyed in Lagos fire incidents