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NASA

Picture Info

One last look back at the 'Pale Blue Dot'.

Source article

Geophysical Research Letters

Published By

Dr. Dick van der Wateren

Tags

Heliosphere, interstellar medium, Satellite, Voyager 1


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Voyager 1 leaves the Solar System

20.03.2013, Age: 2036 days

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. (AGU Release No. 13-11.)

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.

The findings have been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

W.R. Webber and F.B. McDonald, 2013. Recent Voyager 1 Data Indicate that on August 25, 2012 at a Distance of 121.7 AU From the Sun, Sudden and Unprecedented Intensity Changes were Observed in Anomalous and Galactic Cosmic Rays. Geophysical Research Letters.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50383/abstract


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