Over the past 11 years, the Voyager 2 space probe is traveling through the outermost layer of the heliosphere which is the massive bubble that encapsulates the Sun and the planets of our Solar System, dominated by solar magnetic fields.
The space probe Voyager 1 may soon have company in interstellar space.
However, Voyager 2 is now in another region of the heliosphere than Voyager 1. Back then, Voyager 1 also recorded higher cosmic radiations by three months before emerging into the interstellar space.
Six years after Voyager 1 officially left the Solar System, it looks like its companion probe, Voyager 2, is getting close to the interstellar boundary as well. - We learn much in the coming months, but we still have no idea when we reach the heliopause.
However, Voyager 2 will not be treading the same path as Voyager 1.
To help you familiarise with the subject, a heliopause is a bubble formes by the solar wind around out solar system.
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Since August, the Cosmic Ray Subsystem (CRS) on Voyager 2 measured a roughly 5 percent increase in the rate of cosmic rays reaching the spacecraft as compared to early August.
The only details known to the NASA team about the Voyager 2 is that it is nearly 11 billion miles (17.7 billion kilometers) away from home. Voyager 2 is still in the heliosheath, or the outermost part of the heliosphere. However, Voyager team members note that the increase in cosmic rays is not a definitive sign that the probe is about to cross the heliopause.
Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone said, "We're seeing a change in the environment around Voyager 2, there's no doubt about that". The information they have returned to Earth has revolutionized the science of planetary astronomy, helping to resolve key questions while raising intriguing new ones about the origin and evolution of the planets in the solar system. "We're not there yet - that's one thing I can say with confidence".
When the Sun is at minimum - which we're now closing in on - its activity levels are low, and the Solar wind is slower.