The twin Voyager probes continue to explore the edge of our solar system after more than four decades since they left off. NASA engineers decided to shut down a heater placed on Voyager 2 as they aim to minimize the use of fuel. The heater is linked to an instrument known as the cosmic-ray subsystem, which has remained functional even if its temperature has fallen to minus 74 degrees Fahrenheit (or minus 59 degrees Celsius).
The long lifetimes of the spacecraft lead to the appearance of unique scenarios, which are tackled with patience as the Jet Propulsion Lab plans to keep them functional for as long as possible while also retaining the accuracy of the instruments.
The pair of probes were launched in 1977, and the spacecraft traveled for years through the outer limits of the solar system before they went beyond the wave of charged particles released by our sun. Voyager 1 achieved this feat in 2012 while Voyager 2 passed the limit in November 2018.
Voyager 2 Continues To Explore The Edge Of The Solar System
It has been a few decades since the twin probes observed the planets and the moon, but the two remained hard at work, allowing researchers to learn more about the solar systems.
Since they are the only spacecraft which managed to go beyond the heliosphere, they were able to collect valuable data about the brink of the solar system. However, it is essential to keep in fact that there is still plenty of distance before they can exit the solar system, which journey which in theory could take several millennia.
The cosmic-ray detector informed researchers that Voyager 2 left the heliosphere. The instrument started to detect a large number of high-energy shattered atoms. The heliosphere can block some of these items from reaching our solar system. The fact that the instruments present on both probes can withstand freezing temperatures is an impressive feat of engineering. As they continue to explore wild regions, new data is beamed back to Earth each day.