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Scientists have been waiting for Voyager to detect a magnetic field that flows in a different direction than the solar system's magnetic field. But the new research shows that scenario is not accurate.
"We think that the magnetic field within the solar system and in the interstellar are aligned enough that you can actually pass through without seeing a huge change in direction," University of Maryland physicist Marc Swisdak said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.
That would mean that Voyager actually reached interstellar space last summer when it detected a sudden drop in the number of particles coming from the sun and a corresponding rise in the number of galactic cosmic rays coming from interstellar space.
Voyager lead scientist Edward Stone, now retired from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said Swisdak's research is interesting but different computer models are portraying different scenarios to explain the Voyager data.
"We know where Voyager is in terms of distance and we know what it is observing. The challenge is relating that to these complex models of the interaction between the interstellar medium and the heliosphere," Stone said, referring to the bubble of space that falls under the sun's influence.
Stone and other scientists believe Voyager is in a previously unknown region, dubbed a "magnetic highway," that exists between the heliosphere and interstellar space.
Originally posted by wrabbit2000
I wonder if we're simply dealing with 1970's technology a bit too limited in capability to actually tell them what they need to know here? By the confusion, it sounds like it's guess work beyond the normal levels to even state where Voyager I is at the moment....
Originally posted by yourmaker
How is that thing still in contact with Earth as a piece of 70's tech when I can barely get cell reception from inside a Hospital?edit on 18-8-2013 by yourmaker because: (no reason given)