After Hours

Voyager's past and new life in space

Less than a year ago and over 9.7 billion miles away from Earth, the Voyagers discovered big bubbles, about 100 million miles across. It entered this foamy area in 2007.

"The sun's magnetic field extends all the way to the edge of the solar system," explains Opher. "Because the sun spins, its magnetic field becomes twisted and wrinkled, a bit like a ballerina's skirt. Far, far away from the sun, where the Voyagers are now, the folds of the skirt bunch up."

The area of the bubbles is called the "heliospher" which is the border crossing between our solar system and the rest of the Milky Way. Opher believe that these bubbles may protect our galaxy from cosmic rays and other dangers from black holes and supernova explosions.

NASA descibes the drawing: "Old and new views of the heliosheath. Red and blue spirals are the gracefully curving magnetic field lines of orthodox models. New data from Voyager add a magnetic froth (inset) to the mix."

Credit: NASA