News & AnalysisPlanetary Science

It's Official—Voyager Has Left the Solar System

Science  13 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6151, pp. 1158-1159
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6151.1158

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Summary

After 36 years of hurtling toward the edge of the solar system, the Voyager 1 spacecraft—its sensors failing, its energy running low—has crossed into the abyss of interstellar space. At least, after long disagreements, that is now the consensus view of Voyager mission team leaders. The space physicists' edge of the solar system "is not your usual planetary environment at all," says heliophysicist George Gloeckler, a Voyager team member since the 1960s. Even modern computer simulations could give no warning of the confusing weirdness Voyager 1 has encountered.