In the L.A. Times yesterday, there was an update on Voyager 1 which launched over 30 years ago and is getting very close to the edge of our solar system. Not only is that amazing – but Voyager 1 has traveled further than “any human-made object ever has” !! From Caltech, Ed Stone has been carefully overseeing and monitoring the incoming, invaluable data from both Voyagers 1 and 2. Stone has kept important details like the active volcanoes on Jupiter (1979), rings of Saturn (1980), the magnetic field on Uranus (1986) and the powerful winds on Neptune (1989) in over 40 notebooks. At this point, Voyager 1 is over 11 billion miles away and Voyager 2 is over 9 billion miles away. (10+13) “Voyager 1 is close to bursting out of the solar system. Once it makes it beyond the influence of the sun, the spacecraft will enter part of the universe that scientists have only been able speculate about: deep space.”
As Voyager 1 continues to travel through the cosmic wind towards deep space, Stone looks forward to finding the answers to many questions. “How large is the edge of the solar system? How long will it take Voyager 1 to pass through it, to reach that vast region where the sun’s cosmic wind finally stops? What will it find there?” And we all look forward to hearing the answers!