After more than 30 years of traveling through the cosmos, a far-flung NASA spacecraft has entered an uncharted region between our solar system and interstellar space, scientists announced Monday.
Data received from the probe indicate that it is still within the so-called heliosphere, which is a large bubble of solar plasma and solar magnetic fields that the sun blows around itself. At the perimeter of the heliosphere is the heliosheath, a turbulent region at the outer edge of the solar system.
“Newton tells us the spacecraft will reach interstellar space,” Stone said. “The question is, will we still be transmitting when that happens? No spacecraft has ever been there before. We continue to find our models need to be improved as we learn more about the complex interaction between solar wind and interstellar wind. The transition may not be instantaneous. There may be a turbulent interface, (and it) may take us months to get through a rather messy interface between these two winds.”