While NASA won’t say yet that Voyager I has officially left the solar system, because it’s kind of a wide, wobbly border, but as far as we know right now, the tiny little space probe that could has pretty much left the solar system, making it the first manmade object to do so.
Yesterday, NASA announced their findings from Curiosity rover soil samples, but in other really big astronomy news, the Voyager I space probe has discovered a brand new layer of the skin at the edge of the solar system— a “magnetic highway”, that ferries charged particles in a thin layer just on the edge of the sun’s reach.
First launched in 1977, NASA’s Voyager I spacecraft has seen a lot of things in its long journey from Earth. And now, as it nears the heliopause, it will soon be the first manmade object to leave the solar system and venture into deep space.
The little Voyager I probe just keeps on going out through the edge of the solar system and beyond, still sending back valuable information. Scientists already knew that at the very outer edge of the solar system was the heliopause, where the Sun’s influence ends and deep space begins, but it was always assumed that it was made of graceful arcs of magnetic energy curving back towards the Sun.
But as it turns out, it’s more like a frothy jacuzzi of magnetic bubbles.