This week the space sciences community has also announced new results from the Voyager 1 space probe, first launched more than 35 years ago and still a valuable scientific tool. The NASA probe has entered a new region on the edge of the solar system, right as it prepares to move through interstellar space.

It has been now revealed that Voyager sensors have detected a sudden drop in particles flowing from our own sun (in fact it is a drop of about 99.9%), and a 10% increase in galactic cosmic rays which are normally shielded by the magnetic fields created by our sun. (The scientists responsible are not claiming the magnetic field has disappeared yet, which would indicate leaving the solar system completely, but it does suggest that this will happen in the next few years)

Although the Voyager probe was launched originally to study the planets, it has continued past them into the farther reaches of our own solar system. At a distance of18.5 billion kilometers from Earth, the spacecraft is currently the farthest man-made object in space. (Voyager 2, launched at the approximately the same time, is now 15.1 billion km away from us).

The two voyagers are currently exploring the limits of the heliosphere, which is a huge ball of charged particles and magnetic fields created by and surrounding the sun. However Voyager 1 seems to be entering interesting new realms. And if the old veteran can stay healthy, it should generate even more amazing data in the next few years as it exits the solar system forevermore.