Monday, 3 December 2012

NASA Voyager 1 Enters Far Region of Solar System

NASA Voyager 1 Encounters New Region in Deep Space




This still image and set of animations show NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft exploring a new region in our solar system called the 'magnetic highway.'









This still image and set of animations show NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft exploring a new region in our solar system called the "magnetic highway." In this region, the sun's magnetic field lines are connected to interstellar magnetic field lines, allowing particles from inside the heliosphere to zip away and particles from interstellar space to zoom in. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

December 03, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region at the far reaches of our solar system that scientists feel is the final area the spacecraft has to cross before reaching interstellar space.

Scientists refer to this new region as a magnetic highway for charged particles because our sun's magnetic field lines are connected to interstellar magnetic field lines. This connection allows lower-energy charged particles that originate from inside our heliosphere -- or the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself -- to zoom out and allows higher-energy particles from outside to stream in. Before entering this region, the charged particles bounced around in all directions, as if trapped on local roads inside the heliosphere.

The Voyager team infers this region is still inside our solar bubble because the direction of the magnetic field lines has not changed. The direction of these magnetic field lines is predicted to change when Voyager breaks through to interstellar space. The new results were described at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on Monday.

Voyager 1 Photos & More:
Link >>> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-381&cid=release_2012-381

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA.

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