Add your Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.

The heliosphere is a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles, and which is thought to be enclosed, bubble-like, in the surrounding interstellar medium of gas and dust that pervades the Milky Way galaxy.

On August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere, all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays – cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system – spiked to levels not seen since Voyager’s launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.

Read more: http://science.time.com/2013/03/20/humanity-leaves-the-solar-system-35-years-later-voyager-offically-exits-the-heliosphere/#ixzz2O6guQQDF here… (optional)

Science & Space

Updated 1:51 p.m.

It was a threshold crossed in the deepest reaches of space: A spacecraft launched from Earth has now entered new and unexplored territory that may or may not be outside our solar system. A press release issued at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday morning by the American Geophysical Union noted that Voyager I had exited our solar system, sparking excitement in the scientific community.

But just a few hours later, the AGU stood down from its initial announcement that the 35-year-old craft had exited the solar system and instead clarified its location. The substance of the findings that precipitated the announcement remains the same, but the headline of the release has been changed, according to an e-mail the AGU sent out at 1:28 p.m.:

CORRECTED — Voyager 1 has entered a new region of space, sudden changes in cosmic rays indicate

NASA, which quickly denied the original report, sees…

View original post 1,007 more words

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