NASA’s Voyager 2 probe, which was launched from earth in 1977, has become the second man-made object to reach interstellar space, this is the space between two star systems. Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012.
Although Voyager 2 was launched 16 days before Voyager 1, because of the latter’s faster trajectory, Voyager 1 passed the heliosphere 6 years before it’s twin craft.
The news was revealed at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in Washington. And chief scientist on the mission, Prof Edward Stone, confirmed it.
According to him, both the probes had now “made it into interstellar space” and that Voyager 2 departed the solar system on 5 November 2018.
Both the probes were initially sent to study the outer planets of the solar system, but then it was decided to keep them going. As of now, both of them are in a region of space that has only been observed from a distance, but never explored.
Voyager 1 will not approach another star for nearly 400,000 years, despite it’s great speed of 61,000 km/h. However, it will be in orbit around the center of the milky way for billions of years!