Voyager I was launched 36 years ago and it speeds through space at the rate of about 38,000 miles an hour. As it passes the outer limits of the solar system, it seems to be entering a bizarre and mysterious region more than 11 billion miles from Earth that scientists are struggling to make sense of.
NASA says," It’s a region where the fierce solar winds have all but vanished and pieces of atoms blasted across the galaxy by ancient supernovae drift into the solar system." The NASA probe is causing scientists to question some long-standing theories on the nature of our solar system and life beyond its cold dark edge dubbed the "magnetic highway."
This is a newly discovered area of the heliosphere, the vast bubble of magnetism that shields the solar system from deadly cosmic rays.
Voyager 1 entered the edge of this area 2003, when the spacecraft’s instruments indicated that particles around it were moving subsonically, having slowed down after traveling far from the sun. Then, toward the end of July 2012, Voyager’s instruments reported that solar winds had suddenly dropped by half, while the strength of the magnetic field almost doubled.
Physicist Stamatios Krimigis says, "We essentially have absolutely no reliable roadmap of what to expect at this point."
The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft both carry a ‘golden record’ that includes sounds intended to reveal the diversity of life on Earth.
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