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Less than a year ago and over 9.7 billion miles away from Earth, the Voyagers discovered big bubbles, about 100 million miles across, near the edge of our solar system. Voyager 1 entered this foamy area in 2007.
"The sun's magnetic field extends all the way to the edge of the solar system," explains astronomer Merav 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."
In April 2011, NASA announced that the two Voyager spacecraft would soon be the first human-made objects to leave our solar system. While on their journey, each day the Voyagers send back this message, "Expect the unexpedted."
At this point the power left in Voyager 1 from the radioactive decay of a Plutonium 238 heat source was expected to keep it running until 2020.
Probably the Voyager image that stunned scientists the most was that of an active volcano on Jupiter's moon Io. The Pioneer probes had detected volcanoes on Io but none were believe to be alive.