Almost forgotten Voyager I that was sent in 1977 by NASA that penetrated into the deeper space beyond the solar system a couple of years ago has sent messages from a distance of 19.5 billion kilometres from Earth about a ‘tsunami wave’ that it is experiencing.
The signals, which take 36 hours and 14 minutes to reach Earth, indicate that the tsunami wave, released by the sun as a coronal mass ejection of a magnetic cloud of plasma away from its surface, indicate that the Voyager I spacecraft is experiencing tumbles.
Don Gurnett of the University of Iowa, in his presentation of a paper at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on December 15, said the resultant pressure was due to a shock wave emanating from the plasma.
This is the third time Voyager I is experiencing the shock wave and it occurred in February this year and is still continuing. Due to the tsunami wave, Voyager spacecraft has moved outward 400 million kilometers, he added.
When a series of solar storms in March 2012 had blasted solar material out towards interstellar space, they reached Voyager 1’s location 13 months later and made the interstellar plasma ring like a bell as the solar material plowed through it.
Scientists don’t know when Voyager 1 will reach the undisturbed part of interstellar space. The plasma instrument aboard Voyager 1 stopped working in 1980, right after its last planetary flyby.