About 12 billion miles from Earth, a boundary marks the edge of the Sun Empire and the beginning of interstellar space. When NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft crossed that line more than 40 years after launch, it emitted a faint signal that was now being decoded by scientists from outer space.
University of Iowa researchers confirmed transition from Voyager 2 to the interstellar medium (ISM)
This increase in plasma density indicates that the Voyager 2 moves from the hot plasma of lower solar wind density to the cool plasma higher density of Voyager 2 wanders interstellar space.
The results reflect the plasma density jump that Voyager 1 experienced when it also entered the interstellar space.
Don Gurnett of the University of Iowa, corresponding author of the study, said: "In the historical sense, the old The idea that the solar wind only weakens gradually as you move further into interstellar space is simply not true.
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However, they have entered the ISM at substantially similar distances from the Sun.
This provides valuable information about the structure of the heliosphere, the bubble generated by the solar wind extends to the limits of the solar system.
Dr. Bill Kurth, a researcher at the University of Iowa and co-author of the study, said: "This implies that the heliosphere is crossed at least at the two points where the Voyager is symmetrically spaceship.
"It says that these two points on the surface are almost equidistant from each other." The heliosphere and the point at which the solar wind in interstellar space stacks up against the rising wind, similar to the effect of a snow plow on a city street by Professor Gurnett ss, based on data showing Voyager 1
Some researchers predicted that Voyager 2 would make this crossing first, based on models of the heliosphere.
Dr. Kurth added, "It's something like looking at an elephant with a microscope.
"Two people go to an elephant with a microscope and come to two different dimensions.
"You have no idea what's going on in between. The models try to use information that we have from these two points and that we have learned from the flight and to compile a global model of the heliosphere that corresponds to these observations. "