The finding is reported in a paper published in the
"This is the first solid evidence that Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause, the boundary between the heliosphere, and interstellar space," says Gurnett, principal investigator for the plasma wave instrument.
For several months, the relative position of Voyager 1 has stirred something of a scientific debate because there remains some lingering evidence of the nearby heliosphere beyond the heliopause.
Even though Voyager 1 has passed into interstellar space, it does not mean that its journey is over, says
"Now that we're on the outside, we are learning that interstellar space isn't a bland region," Kurth says. "Rather, there are variations in some of Voyager's measurements that may be due to the nearby presence of the heliosphere. So, our attention is turning from crossing the boundary to understanding what is going on outside," he says.
At age 36, Voyager 1 is the most distant human-made object at more than 11.6 billion miles from the sun, or about 125 astronomical units.
"At that distance it takes more than 17 hours for a radio signal to travel from the spacecraft to one of
The sounds of the electron plasma oscillations heralding Voyager's entry into interstellar space and other sounds of space can be heard by visiting Gurnett's website (http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/space-audio/).
Gunett's and Kurth's co-authors on the Science paper are
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