Research solutions lingering questions on Voyager 1 in interstellar area
Three years in the past, the American Geophysical Union stated the Voyager 1 probe left the photo voltaic system. NASA shortly stated nope, maintain your horses, we’re not there but. Then, NASA introduced a yr later that sure, Voyager 1 actually did make it. The talk nonetheless rages on in some pockets of the scientific group, however a brand new research out of the College of New Hampshire simply pulled some photo voltaic wind out of detractors’ sails.
See, a part of the issue is that researchers anticipated to see a shift within the orientation of the magnetic area that Voyager was passing via. That shift occurred, however it wasn’t the shift individuals have been anticipating – the course swung round greater than forty levels from researchers’ greatest estimates. By pulling knowledge from 4 totally different observational spacecraft, the group at UNH appears to have cleared up this challenge — however we’ll need to again up somewhat first. The launch of a craft referred to as the Interstellar Boundary Explorer in 2008 revealed the existence of a ribbon of power and particles now referred to as the IBEX Ribbon. Voyager 1 makes use of knowledge from the Ribbon to determine the place true magnetic north is, however it’s at present shifting by way of a wierd space of area the place magnetic fields are “rotated away from true magnetic north”. Lengthy story brief, Voyager 1 is in interstellar area in any case — only a very bizarre a part of it. The paper means that calmer area lies forward for the Voyager, which means NASA will get some cleaner knowledge (and eventually finish the talk) in a few decade.