It only took 34 years, but NASA's deep space probe is finally entering uncharted territory on the far edges of our solar system, just before entering the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. The Guardian reports:
Scientists at the US space agency said the craft had gone into a region at the edge of the solar system, describing it as "a kind of cosmic purgatory".
Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said: "Voyager tells us now that we're in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system … We shouldn't have long to wait to find out what the space between stars is really like."
When it does officially enter outer space, Voyager will become the first manmade object to leave our solar system, but that might take a little bit of time. The solar winds that have been pushing Voyager 1 along slow down in this area, reducing the flying time capsule's speed to a mere 11 miles-per-second (that's slow for space). At this rate, it'll take forever to travel the 600 light years to Earth's newly discovered, possibly life-supporting cousin, Kepler 22b.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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