Launched in 1977, the Voyager 1 was the first Voyager device sent into interstellar space to find out what is beyond our own solar system. It has spent 43 years traveling a distance into space that is now 150 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. Currently it takes transmissions over 21 hours to reach Earth from Voyager 1.
In 2012 Voyager 1 passed the heliopause (the boundary at which pressure solar wind is no longer strong enough to push into wind from space) and even at this distance, Voyager 1 is continuing to prove that space is not just an empty void. Since 2017, astronomers have discovered a constant hum being generated from the gases that exist between stars.
Astronomers have known that space is not empty, but trying to study the material that lives between solar systems has always been a challenge due to the size of gas particles at that distance and the challenges of facing the brightness of other stars. These recent finds are starting to make astronomers believe that there is actually more activity in these voids than originally thought.
Voyager 1’s radioisotope thermoelectric generator is expected to last until 2025 and that means mankind’s first interstellar space trip is not over yet. A full publication of these findings can be found in Nature Astronomy.