According to some recent news from NASA, the Voyager 2 spacecraft has begun to identify the same increase in cosmic radiation as the one that was detected by Voyager 1 six years ago, when it left our Solar System. This only means that the space vehicle is in fact about to reach the interstellar space.
Is it time for Voyager 2 to make history?
The official date when Voyager 1 crossed the boundary between the Solar System and space beyond was 25th of August 2012. This event made NASA’s spacecraft the first object created by humans to travel to the interstellar space. It seems that the time has come now for Voyager 2 to do just the same thing as its companion probe did a few years ago – journey into the unknown. As we know, even though the pressure in space is extremely low, this definitely doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist anymore. Voyager 2 has been gone on its expedition throughout the outer heliosphere since as long back as 2007. At the moment, the vehicle is located at about 10.9 billion miles (17.7 billion kilometers) from the Sun.
A new announcement from NASA
Based on a report from NASA, Voyager 2 has estimated an approximately 5% increase in the cosmic rays’ rate of hitting the craft in late August, compared to how it was at the beginning of the month. This rise has been recorded by both the Low-Energy Charged Particle and the Cosmic Ray Subsystem instruments on the space vehicle. It appears that three months before going into the interstellar space, back in May 2012, Voyager 1 observed a similar increase in cosmic rays. This, however, does not necessarily mean that Voyager 2 will cross the border now, because every 11 years of a solar cycle, our Solar System is expanding and contracting a little bit. This event has a direct impact on the speed of the solar winds, which is influencing the spacecraft’s journey through space. A prediction made so far would be that Voyager 2 might enter the interstellar space before 2030, but we will have to wait to see what happens.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here