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the heliopause

29 October 2015

At http://phys.org/print365271409.html … what is happening with Voyager 1? A paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Oct 28th 2015, claims to know the secret that has puzzled astronomers as it was thought by now the spacecraft would have broken through the helio-sheaf, or protective bubble, of our Sun and should be flying like an arrow into space beyond our solar system – but this has not happened. Voyager 1 appears to be caught up in a snare of magnetism at the boundaries of the solar system, still chugging through a clogged up region. What is the nature of that spiders web of magnetic protection spun by our Sun?

It seems the spacecraft has punched a hole through the helio-pause but can't get it out of its hair. The heliopause has expanded like a piece of elastic and the spacecraft is struggling to pass through. It is estimated by the paper authors that it will take another ten years before Voyager breaks out into clear space on the other side – and astronomers will just have to be patient. The big question is – are they just saying this because they have no idea of what is happening. Consensus theory is that they should have passed on to the other side – but like a restless spirit Voyager is bogged down in the in-between and is haunting those watching its progress. Wake me up in 2025.

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