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Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell was more blunt: “I’m actually not going to believe it for another year or two until it’s been solidly outside for a while.”

While Voyager 1 may have left the solar system as most people understand it, it still has thousands of years to go before bidding adieu to the last icy bodies that make up our neighborhood.

Voyager 2 trails behind at 9½ billion miles from the sun. It may take another three years before Voyager 2 joins its twin on the other side. Eventually, the Voyagers will run out of nuclear fuel and will have to power down their instruments, perhaps by 2025.