Voyager 1 Hasn’t Left Solar System (Yet)

One of the first probes launched into deep space is still in our solar system, but it won’t be for much longer.

NASA scientists report that Voyager 1 is close to leaving our solar system and heading out into the universe.

The spacecraft, which is more than 11 billion miles from Earth, has entered a “magnetic highway,” a new region of crisscrossing charged particles, some from the sun and some from interstellar space.

But researchers, speaking at a news briefing in Pasadena, Calif., said there was no indication of a change in the magnetic field that would indicate that Voyager had entered interstellar space itself.

Edward Stone, a Voyager project scientist, said this new region may be the last layer before interstellar space, but it could take the spacecraft another two or three years to cross it. Voyager 1 is traveling about 11 miles a second; a companion craft, Voyager 2, is not quite as far from the Sun and is traveling slower, less than 10 miles a second.

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