Voyager On The “Magnetic Highway;” About To Leave The Solar System

LOS ANGELES (December 3, 2012)--NASA's well-traveled Voyager 1 spacecraft is in a new region at the edge of the solar system and is close to exiting it forever.

Scientists call the region the "magnetic highway" and say it's the last stop before interstellar space, or the space between stars.

The findings were presented Monday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Voyager 1 and its twin Voyager 2 launched 35 years ago on a tour of the outer planets.

Afterward, both spacecraft continued to hurtle toward the fringes of the solar system.

Mission chief scientist Ed Stone said it's unknown when Voyager 1 will finally break through to interstellar space, but once that happens, it'll be the first man-made object to leave the solar system.

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