NASA’s Voyager 2 probe that blasted off from Earth on August 20, 1977 has become the second man-made object to exit the Solar System. It has transmitted signals from the edge of our solar system, which according to scientists, mean that it has entered interstellar space. The probe blasted off from Earth 16 days before its twin spacecraft, Voyager 1, but entered the interstellar medium six years later due to its slower trajectory, crossing the outer edge of the Sun’s protective bubble, known as the heliopause, on November 5, 2018. Read more for a video and additional information.
Researchers confirmed the spacecraft’s journey into the “space between the stars” by noting a “definitive jump” in the density of the plasma – made up of charged particles and gas – in interstellar space and was detected by one of Voyager 2’s instruments. It’s evidence of the probe making its way “from the hot, lower-density plasma characteristic of the solar wind to the cool, higher-density plasma of interstellar space”. Astronomers will use this information to gain a better understanding of how the solar winds interact with the interstellar winds.