Thursday, March 21, 2013

Has Voyager 1 Left Solar System?

Artist's concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. Artist's concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A new study from New Mexico State University suggests that the Voyager 1 space probe is the first human spacecraft to leave our solar system. However, this claim is disputed by NASA scientists of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

The Voyager 1 space probe, now the most distant human spacecraft, launched from Cape Canaveral 1977 September 5, a few weeks after the launch of Voyager 2. For the last few years, there have been predictions as to when Voyager 1 may leave the solar system.

The new study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, cites a sharp increase in cosmic rays recorded by the spacecraft in August as a reason to believe it may have left the solar system.

However, Voyager Project Scientist Edward Stone, in a Jet Propulsion Laboratory news release, stated "It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space. In December 2012, the Voyager science team reported that Voyager 1 is within a new region called 'the magnetic highway' where energetic particles changed dramatically. A change in the direction of the magnetic field is the last critical indicator of reaching interstellar space and that change of direction has not yet been observed."

More on report from New Mexico State University (Source: ):
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA News Release rebutting report:
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Source: Friends of the Zeiss.

Related Blog Posts ---

NASA Voyager 1 Enters Far Region of Solar System (2012 Dec. 3):

Link >>>


Voyager 1 Really Leaving Solar System? (2012 Sept. 7):

Link >>>


Voyager 1 Reaches Edge of Solar System (2012 Aug. 5):

Link >>>



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