Scientists had launched the spacecraft named Voyager 1 in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. But the spacecraft didn’t stop and kept on going.
After 36 long years, it is still on the move and is billions of miles away from our planet and according to the scientists, it will soon be out of our solar system.
Recently, a Physicist at the University of Maryland, Marc Swisdak says there is a possibility that the aircraft may have already left the solar system. He said, “Late July 2012 is when we think it left.”
Researchers think that our solar system is surrounded by a clearly marked bubble of magnetic field. According to Swisdak, as there is a similar bubble surrounding the Earth, one surrounding Jupiter, one Saturn and many other planets, so just by analogy scientists had predicted that even the solar system had a magnetic field bubble surrounding it.
The scientists have been waiting for Voyages to cross this magnetic edge of the solar system and hover into the magnetic field of interstellar space.
However, contradicting this in the issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, Swisdak and his colleagues have indicated a possibility that the magnetic fields may blend together and its possible that in July 2012, Voyager crossed over into deep space and out from our solar system. All scientists saw was a change in the direction of the magnetic field.
However, NASA’s chief scientist for Voyager still thinks there is a magnetic edge to the solar system and until and unless Voyager sees a change in the magnetic field, it’s still in the solar system for the next few years.
“I think that there is a very good chance before we run out of electrical power that we will be demonstrably in interstellar space,” he says.
So unless Voyager runs out of electric power or there is a change in magnetic field, this debate will keep on going.