Voyager 1 is said to have sailed out of our solar system in 2012, when it crossed the heliopause into interstellar space. Image via NASA.
Voyager 1 left Earth in 1977 and crossed the boundary of our sun’s magnetic influence (the heliopause) in 2012. It’s now traveling in the vastness of interstellar space – the space between the stars – and is, at present, the most distant human-made object from us. Interstellar space isn’t quite as empty as a vacuum, and a team of scientists announced on May 10, 2021 that Voyager 1 has now sent back a message, saying it’s detected a faint, monotonous hum of interstellar gas (plasma). Astronomer Stella Koch Ocker of Cornell University led the study and, in a statement, described Voyager 1’s discovery:
It’s very faint and monotone, because it is in a narrow-frequency bandwidth. We’re detecting the faint, persistent hum of interstellar gas.
The study was published May 10, 2021, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy.
Astronomer Stella Koch Ocker led the study leading to the discovery of a low-level hum in interstellar space. Image via Cornell University.
Although Voyager 1 is traveling in interstellar space, it still feels some influence from the solar ...