Far, far away (approximately 18 Billion Kilometres from our Sun), and going where no man has ever been, or likely to ever go in our life times, the Voyager 1 space probe has finally reached the edge of our Solar System.
|Voyager 1 (Photo Credit: JPL/NASA)|
In a statement from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on 14 June 2012 scientists confirmed that the spacecraft is sending back data showing a sharp increase in the charged particles that originate from outside our Solar System.
"Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion - that humanity's first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of our solar system" the statement read.
Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. Her trajectory took her past Jupiter and Saturn before sending her out towards interstellar space - the space between solar systems in our Galaxy, The Milky Way.
Voyager 1 is currently the farthest man-made object from Earth.
On February 14, 1990, Voyager 1 took the first every 'Family Portrait' of the planets in our solar system as an outsider. The series of images included the famous 'Pale Blue Dot' image which shows Earth, some 6 Billion Kilometres away, alone in the vastness of space.
Providing she isn't the victim of a cosmic collision, Voyager 1 will eventually pass (in about 40,000 years) within 1.6 light years of Gliese 445, a star in the constellation Camelopardalis near to Polaris (The North Star).