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Voyager 1 reaches solar system's final frontier

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posted on May, 27 2005 @ 09:13 AM
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Voyager 1 reaches solar system's final frontier
Wed May 25, 2005 11:59 AM ET


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NASA's Voyager 1 has reached the final frontier of our solar system, having traveled through a turbulent place where electrically charged particles from the Sun crash into thin gas from interstellar space.

Astronomers tracking the little spaceship's 26-year journey from Earth believe Voyager 1 has gone through a region known as termination shock, some 8.7 billion miles from the Sun, and entered an area called the heliosheath.

"Voyager 1 has entered the final lap on its race to the edge of interstellar space," Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology, said in a statement released Tuesday.

Voyager watchers theorized last November that the craft might be reaching this bumpy region of space when the charged solar particles known as the solar wind seemed to slow down from a top speed of 1.5 million miles per hour.

This was expected at the area of termination shock, where the solar winds were expected to decelerate as they bump up against gas from the space beyond our solar system. It is more than twice as distant as Pluto, the furthest planet in our system.

By monitoring the craft's speed and the increase in the force of the solar wind, Voyager scientists now believe the craft has made it through the shock and into the heliosheath.

Predicting the location of the termination shock was hard because the precise conditions in interstellar space are unknown and the termination shock can expand, contract and ripple, depending on changes in the speed and pressure of the solar wind.

"Voyager's observations over the past few years show the termination shock is far more complicated than anyone thought," said Eric Christian, a scientist with NASA's Sun-Solar System Connection program.

Voyager 1 and its twin spacecraft Voyager 2 were launched in 1977 on a mission to explore the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. The pair kept going, however, and the mission was extended.

Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune, the only spacecraft to have visited these outer planets. Both Voyagers are now part of the Voyager Interstellar Mission to explore the outermost edge of the Sun's domain.

Both Voyagers are capable of returning scientific data from a full range of instruments, with adequate electrical power and attitude control propellant to keep operating until 2020.

Wherever they go, the Voyagers each carry a golden phonograph record which bears messages from Earth, including natural sounds of surf, wind, thunder and animals. There are also musical selections, spoken greetings in 55 languages, along with instructions and equipment on how to play the record.

More information and images can be found online at www.nasa.gov... l



© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.




posted on May, 27 2005 @ 09:15 AM
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How come they don't send a satellite strainght up from our solar system?
How long do you think it would take inorder to get a overall 'picture' of our entire solar system?



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by ferretman
How come they don't send a satellite strainght up from our solar system?
How long do you think it would take inorder to get a overall 'picture' of our entire solar system?


It would depend on its' original trajectory speed, but at a top shuttle speed (unaccounting for stellar storms and other gravitational factors), it could take a bare minimum of 10 years before it could consider getting photographs of the system.

that wouls still only just include our 9 planets, the outer asteroid belts probably wouldn't be included. still, i don't think "cheese" would do the trick that far. need a better camera



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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But by sending a satiellle upwards out of the solar system we could tell if there an geosyncrnous planets in our solar system. (I saw an old outer limits/Twilight Zone). Actually which way does our solar system face. I mean is it horizontal or perpendicular to the milkyway?



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:03 PM
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These are the best apace probes IMO that NASA has ever used they have operated continuosly for 28 years, we need to build more like these and send them in different directions. they RTG's or Radio Isotope Thermal Generators which provide power for the probe. can hardly believ we will be receivng signals until 2020.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
These are the best apace probes IMO that NASA has ever used they have operated continuosly for 28 years, we need to build more like these and send them in different directions. they RTG's or Radio Isotope Thermal Generators which provide power for the probe. can hardly believ we will be receivng signals until 2020.


hehe, as if it will actually get funding for that long.

BTW, the whole point of the voyagers was to fly-by almost every planet...it never went into there orbits...because it wouldn't be able to get out. After that we knew a lot about every single planet, well except for the one that didn't get looked at pluto, because of its odd orbit. After they viewed the planets...then they figured they would send probes to all of them...probes dedicated to one platnet...and not wizz by it. The only planet that has never had its picture taken other then by telescopes in still Pluto. But rest assured, because Nasa is hoping to launch a probe there called "New Horizons", they call it "the first mission to the last planet". BTW, it to will run on a single RTG. But its so far away that if the launch in early 2006, we wont get to drool over the pictures till 2015.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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when it going to hit the bubble and we find out we live in a marble....... MIB lol



posted on May, 28 2005 @ 06:57 AM
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It is a good article, but I think you shouldn't have just have done a "copy/paste"... Maybe you should review the Terms & Conditions... Maybe leave just a few paragraphs, and a link to the story before a mod does it for you!


This is the original news from Reuters.




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