Voyager missions detect increase in density of space outside the solar system

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The Voyager spacecraft have found that space is more dense outside the Solar System, according to research published in the journal Astrophysical Letters.

NASA's Voyager 2 crossed into interstellar space in November of 2018 after a 41-year voyage. Its twin, Voyager 1, entered interstellar space at a different location in 2012.

The authors of the study write that the increase in density detected by the Voyager spacecraft could be due to interstellar magnetic fields becoming stronger as they approach and drape over the heliopause.

Alternatively, material blown by the interstellar wind might slow down and build up as it approaches the heliopause.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Voyager 2 leaving Earth
2. Voyager 2 approaching Saturn satellite Titan
3. Heliosphere, heliopause and interstellar winds
4. Location of Solar System in the Milky Way with heliosphere shaped like a comet
5. New model of heliosphere shaped like a deflated croissant
6. Voyager 2 in interstellar space

VOICEOVER (in English):

"NASA's Voyager 2 crossed into interstellar space in November of 2018 after a 41-year voyage. But its mission is far from over."

"According to research published in the journal Astrophysical Letters, as Voyager 2 moves further from our Solar System, the density of space is increasing. This supports findings from Voyager 1, which entered interstellar space at a different location in 2012."

"The Solar System's theoretical boundary is called the heliopause. An article published on NASA's website describes the heliopause as the place where the solar wind, which emanates from our Sun, is no longer strong enough to push back interstellar winds from the surrounding stars."

"According to NASA, both Voyagers crossed the heliopause at the nose, but with a difference of 67 degrees in heliographic latitude and 43 degrees in longitude."

"Inside is the heliosphere, a huge bubble of the Sun's magnetic influence made by the solar wind that extends far beyond Pluto. This bubble was thought to be shaped like a comet with a rounded leading edge and tail as it orbits the Milky Way. The heliospheric nose is situated between the two Voyagers."

"But a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy in March using data from NASA missions suggests the heliosphere may in fact be shaped like a deflated croissant. A 3D simulation created using the data shows a curving central bulge with two jets caused by the solar magnetic field shooting away from it."

"The authors of the study write that the increase in density detected by the Voyager spacecraft could be due to interstellar magnetic fields becoming stronger as they approach and drape over the heliopause."

"Another theory is that the material blown by the interstellar wind might slow down and build up as it approaches the heliopause."

SOURCES: Astrophysical Letters, Nature Astronomy, NASA, The Atlantic, Space.com
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/abae58
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1036-0
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/science/Heliosphere.html
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7530
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/09/voyager-interstellar-space/538881/
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/voyager-nasa-interstellar/596152/
https://www.space.com/37775-nasa-voyager-mission-40-years-launch.html