Voyager Spacecraft finds new mysteries at the edge of the Solar System

Voyager Spacecraft finds new mysteries at the edge of the Solar System

Voyager 1

Voyager 1 was the first to break free, and so has provided most of our current data. For a time shortly before the Heliopause, for example, at a distance of roughly ten billion miles from Earth, scientists noted a marked increase in the strength of the solar magnetic field. So, although it may have been predicted that the magnetic field would simply thin out and weaken the further you moved from the sun, the pressure inside this particular region actually rises. And it’s because there’s essentially a massive collision happening here, all the time, between charged particles emitted by the sun and charged particles coming from interstellar space. The outside particles begin to outnumber and overpower the solar particles inside the Heliosheath and especially at the Heliopause… so the solar particles are forced back into themselves, thereby creating a temporarily stronger magnetic field.

Voyager 2

Six years later, and Voyager 2 joined it, to carve its own path through this unknowable, interstellar void. Which all sounds fairly epic… But, for some, those claims that the Voyager probes have left the solar system are actually misguided. Misguided to the tune of, say, a trillion miles. Just at a lower estimate. And that’s because of how far the Voyager probes still have left to travel until they reach the outer edges of the Oort Cloud… the other major claimant for being the edge of the solar system.

What’s the Oort Cloud? And why’s it so different (and so far away from) the Heliosphere?

Read More…

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