Discovering the Solar System
That summer, 2 powerful Titan III Centaur launchers sent the Voyager 1 and 2 probes on their way to their initial destination, the giant outer planets of the Solar System.
Their goal was to discover these strange worlds with atmospheres continually buffeted by storms that would be capable of swallowing Earth whole.
Jupiter, volcanoes on Io, Europa’s icy surface, Saturn, its rings and its mysterious moon Titan, Uranus and Neptune…
What has it found there?
This system enables the spacecraft to regularly beam data back to Earth. The signal from Voyager 1 currently takes nearly 14 hours to reach us from the edge of the Solar System.
With help from its twin Voyager 2, it has shown that our star’s magnetic field forms a giant bubble and that an interstellar magnetic field is pressing against it in the south (where Voyager 2 is now).
Due to this extrasolar magnetic field, the heliosphere—the bubble created by the solar wind—is not a perfect sphere but rather an elongated balloon shape pushed in at one end.
But sometimes they find themselves at the foot of a wave, in the “open air” (interstellar space), and sometimes under the waves (still inside the Solar System).
According to Nasa’s scientists, this turbulent crossing could last another 10 years before humankind’s most distant envoys leave the Sun’s zone of influence for good.