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NASA Voyager: ‘Tsunami Wave’ Still Flies Through Interstellar Space


Artist's concept. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s concept. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

• The Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced three shock waves

• The most recent shock wave, first observed in February 2014, still appears to be going on

• One wave, previously reported, helped researchers determine that Voyager 1 had entered interstellar space

The “tsunami wave” that NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing earlier this year is still propagating outward, according to new results. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space.

“Most people would have thought the interstellar medium would have been smooth and quiet. But these shock waves seem to be more common than we thought,” said Don Gurnett, professor of physics at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Gurnett presented the new data Monday, Dec. 15 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

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