Login

Voyager 1 spacecraft reaches 'magnetic highway' at the outer edge of the solar system

NASA Voyager 1

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, first launched in 1977 and currently the man-made object furthest from the Earth, recently reached the furthest edges of our solar system, an area that scientists believe is the final barrier the craft needs to pass through before reaching interstellar space. According to NASA's report, Voyager 1 reached the "magnetic highway" region for the first time in July of this year and has solidly been in that region since re-entering in late August. The area is known as a "magnetic highway" due to the Sun's magnetic field lines lining up interstellar magnetic field lines in the area where Voyager 1 is currently located. Once Voyager 1 leaves the solar system, scientists predict that the direction of the magnetic field lines will change, making it clear when we've finally sent a man-made object into interstellar space.

"Although Voyager 1 still is inside the sun's environment, we now can taste what it's like on the outside because the particles are zipping in and out on this magnetic highway," said Edward Stone, a Voyager project scientist from the California Institute of Technology "We believe this is the last leg of our journey to interstellar space." As for when Voyager 1 might make it out of the solar system, Stone believes it should break free within the next "couple" years. Of course, it's been just about a year since NASA said Voyager 1 had reached "cosmic purgatory" at the end of the solar system, so it's worth remembering that it's still rather unclear when the craft will break free.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.