For the past several years, NASA has been waiting for indications that the space probe Voyager has left our solar system. New research shows that the event has already happened and that the explorer craft has become the first human-made object to leave our solar system.
According to reports, Voyager went out of our solar system sometime last summer.
Researchers were waiting for the space craft to detect a magnetic field that flows in a different direction than our solar system’s magnetic field. But the new research shows that scenario is not accurate.
“We think that the magnetic field within the solar system and in the interstellar are aligned enough that you can actually pass through without seeing a huge change in direction,” University of Maryland physicist Marc Swisdak said in an interview with Reuters last week.
There is still some debate among scientists about whether or not Voyager has gone out into interstellar space yet or not.
Voyager lead scientist Edward Stone, now retired from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said Swisdak’s research is interesting but different computer models are portraying different scenarios to explain the Voyager data.
“We know where Voyager is in terms of distance and we know what it is observing. The challenge is relating that to these complex models of the interaction between the interstellar medium and the heliosphere,” Stone said, referring to the bubble of space that falls under the sun’s influence.