It’s finally official, NASA’s Voyager 1 has left the solar system and entered interstellar space. Approximately 36-years after it was launched from Earth on a tour of the outer planets, the plutonium-powered probe is more than 11 1/2 billion miles from the sun, cruising through what scientists call interstellar space – the vast, cold emptiness between the stars, NASA said. Continue reading for two videos and more information.

Voyager 1 will now study exotic particles and other phenomena in a never-before-explored part of the universe and radio the data back to Earth, where the Voyager team awaits the starship’s discoveries.

The interstellar ambassador also carries a gold-plated disc containing multicultural greetings, songs and photos, just in case it bumps into an intelligent species.

[Sources 1 | 2]