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Voyager near Solar System's edge

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posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 03:43 AM
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Voyager 1, the most distant spacecraft from Earth, has reached a new milestone in its quest to leave the Solar System. Now 17.4bn km (10.8bn miles) from home, the veteran probe has detected a distinct change in the flow of particles that surround it. These particles, which emanate from the Sun, are no longer travelling outwards but are moving sideways. It means Voyager must be very close to making the jump to interstellar space - the space between the stars. Edward Stone, the Voyager project scientist, lauded the explorer and the fascinating science it continues to return 33 years after launch. "When Voyager was launched, the space age itself was only 20 years old, so there was no basis to know that spacecraft could last so long," he told BBC News. "We had no idea how far we would have to travel to get outside the Solar System. We now know that in roughly five years, we should be outside for the first time." Dr Stone was speaking here at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest gathering of Earth scientists in the world. Particle bubble Voyager 1 was launched on 5 September 1977, and its sister spacecraft, Voyager 2, on 20 August 1977. The Nasa probes' initial goal was to survey the outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, a task completed in 1989. They were then despatched towards deep space, in the general direction of the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy. Sustained by their radioactive power packs, the probes' instruments continue to function well and return data to Earth, although the vast distance between them and Earth means a radio message now has a travel time of about 16 hours. The newly reported observation comes from Voyager 1's Low-Energy Charged Particle Instrument, which has been monitoring the velocity of the solar wind. This stream of charged particles forms a bubble around our Solar System known as the heliosphere. The wind travels at "supersonic" speed until it crosses a shockwave called the termination shock. At this point, the wind then slows dramatically and heats up in a region termed the heliosheath. Voyager has determined the velocity of the wind at its location has now slowed to zero. Racing onwards "We have gotten to the point where the wind from the Sun, which until now has always had an outward motion, is no longer moving outward; it is only moving sideways so that it can end up going down the tail of the heliosphere, which is a comet-shaped-like object," said Dr Stone, who is based at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. This phenomenon is a consequence of the wind pushing up against the matter coming from other stars. The boundary between the two is the "official" edge of the Solar System - the heliopause. Once Voyager crosses over, it will be in interstellar space. First hints that Voyager had encountered something new came in June. Several months of further data were required to confirm the observation. "When I realized that we were getting solid zeroes, I was amazed," said Rob Decker, a Voyager Low-Energy Charged Particle Instrument co-investigator from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. "Here was Voyager, a spacecraft that has been a workhorse for 33 years, showing us something completely new again." Voyager is racing on towards the heliopause at 17km/s. Dr Stone expects the cross-over to occur within the next few years.


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posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:15 AM
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I wonder if anyone is out there monitoring our system for the time when one of our primitive craft breaks through the heliopause or the bow shock perhaps. The dividing line (hydrogen wall) between the "waters" of the firmament if you will. Shades of "Star Trek: First Contact" perhaps? They might be disclosing themselves to us shortly.

Having gotten that out of my system I have to say that this is something for us (humans) to be pretty proud of.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:44 AM
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reply to post by this_is_who_we_are
 


I was thinking the same thing


Also, 33 years in service



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 06:16 AM
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and what an extreem mileage for a craft, when cars could do the same we didn't have to make that many and change every couple of years :-)



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 07:13 AM
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Don't make 'em like they used to eh?!

What a fantastic spacecraft and they had the right (or wrong?) idea by putting all our information on it.

"The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this 'bottle' into the cosmic 'ocean' says something very hopeful about life on this planet."
Carl Sagan.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 08:04 AM
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Heres a link to Nasas spooky sounds from Various spacecrafts.....the first one is from the Voyager and sounds from the bowshock...

Spooky sounds



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by booda
 


Great find , i remember that lauch and i was 9 years old and was in the UK at that time , its amazing that these crafts are still working Old Is Gold



Pioneers 10 and 11, which preceded Voyager, both carried small metal plaques identifying their time and place of origin for the benefit of any other spacefarers that might find them in the distant future. With this example before them, NASA placed a more ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2-a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials.


source







voyager.jpl.nasa.gov...



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 08:31 AM
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How well this craft has operated, and for so long. The numbers are staggering: only 16 hours for radio waves to travel 10.8 billion miles, so that would be 0.675 billion miles-per-hour.

Out of curiosity, what kind of radio signals does earth emit? Are those signals powerful enough to traverse such huge distances and if so, how much do they diminish in strength over time?

Just imagine if an intelligent alien life-form had the ability tune-in to those frequencies. Unless they needed our resources, wanted to mingle in our affairs or were just curious, they wouldn't need to physically travel to earth in order to study us.
edit on 14-12-2010 by Ross Cross because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Anjaba
reply to post by this_is_who_we_are
 


I was thinking the same thing


Also, 33 years in service


I immediately noticed the 33 year thing as well. I think -
"It's Almost Time..."



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 02:23 PM
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if only my cell had that good of reception



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by this_is_who_we_are

I immediately noticed the 33 year thing as well. I think -
"It's Almost Time..."


I don't get it... What's significant about 33 years?



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by this_is_who_we_are
 





"It's Almost Time..."


That is the thought that popped into my head.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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reply to post by booda
 


I really enjoyed SPOOKY SOUNDS and was surprized that each astronomical body had its own sound!
Jupiter's seemed highly hysterical to me. Ganymede was also wierd. But Saturn is downright eerie.
This is a highly personal 'insightful' way of experiencing these planets. Really touching,



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 09:58 PM
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Yeah I too idly wonder if human technology passing out of the system, by some measures making us an "interstellar" civilization sets off some kind of an end to the "nature preserve" or suspends the prime directive or something .... very cool even if more than likely not.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:13 AM
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reply to post by BobbinHood
 


lol, because a lot of people on ATS go crazy over significant events happening in the presence of certain numbers. Like 11 11 for instance.. 33 is supposedly tied into the occult and elite, or so I have heard. Look up some numerology threads. I personally don't buy into it but if some aliens made disclosure because Voyager entered interstellar space during it's 33rd year in service I bet you would get a few threads about the coincidence, lol.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 11:20 AM
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I was 10 when they launched this and it still works. Makes you wonder, if they put this kind of effort into everything how much better off we could be as a society.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 06:20 AM
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reply to post by booda
 



That link reminds me of the old Metasynth, the visual audio synthesizer.





edit on 16-12-2010 by Illustronic because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 04:59 PM
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Wait they are back from the Delta Quadrant? Oh wait wrong voyager. Soo it is about the enter subspace. Should be cool. Will it be the first ever probe to leave our solar system? Pretty cool. It also seems like warp drive is getting closer and closer to reality. I think I saw somewhere that scientists have come up with a way to store anti-matter. And then there is the guy that has come up with a working (in simulations) equation for warp travel.
edit on 23/12/10 by Luke.S because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 05:08 PM
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great news, and i wonder why we can't have this lifelasting tech on earth, and our products always go broke so we buy more....

reply to post by Anjaba
 


The number 33 has a simpler meaning than that, it is linked to what some call the Kundalini.



In human anatomy, the vertebral column (backbone or spine) is a column usually consisting of 24 articulating vertebrae, and 9 fused vertebrae in the sacrum and the coccyx. It is situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso, separated by intervertebral discs. It houses and protects the spinal cord in its spinal canal.


24+9=?



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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some think that the earth will not have "contact" untill we reach interstella space
this is suposed to be because of a non intervention convention signed by most space fairing races in our sector of space.
when we cross the majical line we are then afforeded the right to join in with the affairs of the galaxy
when voyager crosses the bow shock even if destroyed the non intervention treaty is nullifyed and
contact may take place.
i personally think "we" are in contact already but are not allowed technology before "our" time and have been aggresive to "capture" some technology.
the voyager space craft may prove to be historic in more than one way, till we reach outside our protective "bubble" the heliosphere how can we say with 100% scientific acuracy that light travels at a constant?
if voyager shows a change in conditions that effect light or the transmition of light we might descover that our distence scale is incorrect because light speed is subjective to the medium it travels in so this is history because it may shed a new "light" on astrological distences, the reason for observable red shift, and the reasons for the apparent dark matter and dark energy in the universe.

exciting times in heliosphereical physics

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