Voyager 1 has exited our solar system and is now entering interstellar space.
It comes as no surprise to those of us who work in astronomically-oriented pursuits, but it was bound to happen.
This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by the plasma, or ionized gas, that was ejected by the death of nearby giant stars millions of years ago. The environment inside our solar bubble is dominated by the plasma exhausted by our sun, known as the solar wind.
The interstellar plasma is shown with an orange glow similar to the color seen in visible-light images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope that show stars in the Orion nebula traveling through interstellar space.
The Voyager spacecraft were built and continue to be operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. The Voyager missions are a part of NASA’s Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
For more information about Voyager, visit http://www.nasa.gov/voyager and http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov.
In space, you see, once something is moving in a specific direction, it won’t change its course or stop unless something else acts upon it. Voyager is still sending us information, and some of it is indecipherable, to most outfits.
Maybe the coronal mass ejection is what caused Voyager to receive, and send, the signals we’re collecting and trying earnestly to get NASA to acknowledge. Maybe the same coronal mass ejection caused our photographer’s ship to sustain damage. We can’t speak to that. NASA, please look at these receipts we’ve been recording for you.