Voyager 2 probe leaves the neighborhood Answered
On 30 August, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft -- which has been sailing through space since 1977 -- crossed the "termination shock", the boundary between the bubble in space dominated by the solar wind coming from the Sun and the transition region beyond that lies between Earth and interstellar space.
Voyager 2's twin, Voyager 1, crossed this same boundary in December 2004. But Voyager 2 did it while almost 1 billion miles closer to the Sun, suggesting that something -- such as an interstellar magnetic field -- is compressing the bubble of the solar wind on that side. The twin Voyagers headed out of the solar system in different directions, with Voyager 1 taking a northern path and Voyager 2 a southern one.
"Now both spacecraft are in the final frontier of the solar system," says project scientist Edward Stone, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "We've reached another major milestone in our 30 years of discovery." He and other Voyager scientists presented their findings on Monday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.