NASA launched its tiny interplanetary probe Voyager 1 towards space on September 5, 1977 to observe the outer planets and the mysterious interstellar medium that lies beyond the solar system. Recently, an astronomer has mentioned that NASA’s venerable Voyager I spacecraft may have become the first man-made object to leave the solar system. But NASA says, it hasn’t left the solar system — yet.
At present, Voyager 1 is about 11 billion miles away from Earth. Last August, the spacecraft detected a sharp change in cosmic rays, suggesting it had reached the very edge of our solar system. In December, NASA confirmed Voyager 1 had entered a new region of the solar system — dubbed a “magnetic highway” — which is the “final area the spacecraft has to cross before reaching interstellar space.”
American Geophysical Union (AGU) issued a press release last Wednesday, on March 20, saying that, “Voyager 1 appears to have traveled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.”
Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist at Caltech and former chief of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, where Voyager was built released an official statement:
The Voyager team is aware of reports today that NASA’s Voyager 1 has left the solar system. It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space. In December 2012, the Voyager science team reported that Voyager 1 is within a new region called ‘the magnetic highway’ where energetic particles changed dramatically. A change in the direction of the magnetic field is the last critical indicator of reaching interstellar space and that change of direction has not yet been observed.
NASA became a little bit astonished after getting such reports. So it instantly looked into the matter once again and found that Voyager 1 has not left our solar system yet.