PDA

View Full Version : Science Voyager 1 getting close to leaving the solar system


mlyonsd
06-19-2012, 10:24 AM
I find it amazing they were launched in 1977 and are still working.

NASA Voyager 1 spacecraft nears interstellar space

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has encountered a new environment more than 11 billion miles from Earth, suggesting that the venerable probe is on the cusp of leaving the solar system.

The Voyager 1 probe (http://www.space.com/11973-nasa-voyager-spacecraft-leaving-solar-system-2012.html) has entered a region of space with a markedly higher flow of charged particles from beyond our solar system, researchers said.

Mission scientists suspect this increased flow indicates that the spacecraft currently 11.1 billion miles (17.8 billion kilometers) from its home planet may be poised to cross the boundary into interstellar space.

"The laws of physics say that someday Voyager will become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space (http://www.space.com/14291-photos-future-interstellar-starship-visions-spaceflight.html), but we still do not know exactly when that someday will be," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, in a statement.

"The latest data indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing more quickly," Stone added. "It is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system's frontier."

Far-flung spacecraft

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, launched in 1977, tasked chiefly with studying Saturn, Jupiter and the gas giants' moons. The two spacecraft made many interesting discoveries about these far-flung bodies, and then they just kept going, checking out Uranus and Neptune on their way toward interstellar space.

They're not quite out of the solar system (http://www.space.com/56-our-solar-system-facts-formation-and-discovery.html) yet, however. Both are still within a huge bubble called the heliosphere, which is made of solar plasma and solar magnetic fields. This gigantic structure is about three times wider than the orbit of Pluto, researchers have said.

Specifically, the Voyagers are plying the heliosphere's outer shell, a turbulent region called the heliosheath. But Voyager 1's new measurements of fast-moving galactic cosmic rays hurled our way by star explosions (http://www.space.com/11425-photos-supernovas-star-explosions.html) suggest the probe may be nearing the heliosphere's edge.

"From January 2009 to January 2012, there had been a gradual increase of about 25 percent in the amount of galactic cosmic rays (http://www.space.com/15323-cosmic-ray-mystery-unsolved.html) Voyager was encountering," Stone said. "More recently, we have seen very rapid escalation in that part of the energy spectrum. Beginning on May 7, the cosmic ray hits have increased five percent in a week and nine percent in a month."

More measurements needed

While it may be tough to identify the moment when Voyager 1 finally pops free into interstellar space, scientists are keeping an eye on the cosmic ray measurements and a few other possible indicators.

One is the intensity of energetic particles generated inside the heliosphere. Voyager 1 has recorded a gradual decline in these particles as it flies farther and farther away from Earth, but it hasn't seen the dramatic dropoff that scientists expect would accompany an exit from the solar system.

The Voyager team also thinks the magnetic fields surrounding the spacecraft should change when it crosses the solar boundary. Those field lines run roughly east-west within the heliosphere, and researchers predict they'll shift to a more north-south orientation in interstellar space. They're currently looking at Voyager 1 data for any signs of such a transition.
In the meantime, both Voyagers just keep on flying and exploring. Voyager 2 trails its twin a little bit; it's currently 9.1 billion miles (14.7 billion km) from home.

"When the Voyagers launched in 1977, the space age was all of 20 years old," Stone said. "Many of us on the team dreamed of reaching interstellar space, but we really had no way of knowing how long a journey it would be or if these two vehicles that we invested so much time and energy in would operate long enough to reach it."

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/18/nasa-voyager-1-spacecraft-nears-interstellar-space/

Mr. Laz
06-19-2012, 10:27 AM
V ger shall return

http://dejareviewer.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/ilia-is-replaced-by-an-android-who-speaks-for-vger.jpg

mikey23545
06-19-2012, 10:38 AM
Incredible that they are still transmitting data back to earth.

It just shows what NASA was capable of back in those days....Unfortunately soon after this we became satisfied with whirling around the earth, a few hundred miles up, and abandoning all the big dreams.

GordonGekko
06-19-2012, 10:44 AM
Incredible that they are still transmitting data back to earth.

It just shows what NASA was capable of back in those days....Unfortunately soon after this we became satisfied with whirling around the earth, a few hundred miles up, and abandoning all the big dreams.

People still dream, NASA just doen't receive the $$ like it used to.

Plus, they need to really figure out new propulsion technologies to help get rockets off the ground and into orbit. Way too expensive right now for larger payloads.

mikey23545
06-19-2012, 10:50 AM
People still dream, NASA just doen't receive the $$ like it used to.



I would suggest that the reason they no longer get the funding is because the dreaming stopped.

Hydrae
06-19-2012, 12:22 PM
That is really cool! I knew they were getting close to leaving the Solar System proper but is still fun to read about.

ChiefGator
06-19-2012, 12:41 PM
I thought Voyager left like two years ago.

I don't miss all his pre-draft threads.. that's for sure.

ZepSinger
06-19-2012, 12:43 PM
I was curious about how long it takes for radio transmissions to get from Voyager 1 to earth and vice versa, and flying away at a distance of about 11 billion miles currently, I came up with about 16.5 hrs.(each way).

( (11,000,000,000 miles/186,000 mi. per second) / 60) / 60

Is my calculation correct?

Buck
06-19-2012, 01:14 PM
I was curious about how long it takes for radio transmissions to get from Voyager 1 to earth and vice versa, and flying away at a distance of about 11 billion miles currently, I came up with about 16.5 hrs.(each way).

( (11,000,000,000 miles/186,000 mi. per second) / 60) / 60

Is my calculation correct?

Radio Waves travel the speed of light?

AndChiefs
06-19-2012, 01:19 PM
Radio Waves travel the speed of light?

Yes.

Count Alex's Losses
06-19-2012, 01:21 PM
I bet Voyager 1 was captured by Aliens and they are having a good joke at our expense.

Dave Lane
06-19-2012, 01:23 PM
I was curious about how long it takes for radio transmissions to get from Voyager 1 to earth and vice versa, and flying away at a distance of about 11 billion miles currently, I came up with about 16.5 hrs.(each way).

( (11,000,000,000 miles/186,000 mi. per second) / 60) / 60

Is my calculation correct?

It is.

Dave Lane
06-19-2012, 02:08 PM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CbIZU8cQWXc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Dave Lane
06-19-2012, 02:11 PM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BFO2usVjfQc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

whoman69
06-19-2012, 02:24 PM
I was curious about how long it takes for radio transmissions to get from Voyager 1 to earth and vice versa, and flying away at a distance of about 11 billion miles currently, I came up with about 16.5 hrs.(each way).

( (11,000,000,000 miles/186,000 mi. per second) / 60) / 60

Is my calculation correct?

35 years and it has reached 16.5 light hours from Earth with 11 billion miles travelled. The nearest star is 4.2 light years away. 4.2 light years is 23,478,854,400,000 miles if I did my math right.

Dave Lane
06-19-2012, 03:43 PM
You did indeed now figure how long for Voyager to get there.

vailpass
06-19-2012, 03:54 PM
So fucking cool. Just blows my mind when I think too long about the seemingly infinite reach of the universe.

Dave Lane
06-20-2012, 01:16 AM
You did indeed now figure how long for Voyager to get there.

The answer is 78,043.636363 years to the nearest star.

ZepSinger
06-20-2012, 03:46 PM
Website that shows real-time odometer readings (in KM) for Voyagers 1 & 2:

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/index.html

Note how fast it's travelling. Approx. 100 miles in 5 seconds. Amazing...

mlyonsd
06-20-2012, 03:50 PM
Website that shows real-time odometer readings (in KM) for Voyagers 1 & 2:

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/index.html

Note how fast it's travelling. Approx. 100 miles in 5 seconds. Amazing...That's crazy.

Mr. Laz
06-20-2012, 03:55 PM
i can't believe that it hasn't hit anything and blown up

that fast, that far,that many things flying all over

:shake:

chefsos
06-20-2012, 04:13 PM
Website that shows real-time odometer readings (in KM) for Voyagers 1 & 2:

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/index.html

Note how fast it's travelling. Approx. 100 miles in 5 seconds. Amazing...

Note: Because Earth moves around the sun faster than Voyager 1 is traveling from Earth, the distance between Earth and the spacecraft actually decreases at certain times of the year.

Fascinating.

whoman69
06-20-2012, 04:44 PM
i can't believe that it hasn't hit anything and blown up

that fast, that far,that many things flying all over

:shake:

Once you get past the asteroid belt, the chance for a run in would be pretty small. Those who track the probe know where the larger items are.

Rain Man
06-20-2012, 05:17 PM
At some point they're going to hit the big glass sphere where all the stars are imbedded.

R8RFAN
06-20-2012, 05:24 PM
Just think what we would know if it was equipped with up to date optics and computer systems...

Bowser
06-20-2012, 05:25 PM
i can't believe that it hasn't hit anything and blown up

that fast, that far,that many things flying all over

:shake:

Space is prettay, prettay, prettay big.

Baconeater
06-20-2012, 05:29 PM
checking out Uranus
heh

Nickel D
06-20-2012, 05:30 PM
At some point they're going to hit the big glass sphere where all the stars are imbedded.

...like Justin Bieber.

mlyonsd
06-20-2012, 06:01 PM
Just think what we would know if it was equipped with up to date optics and computer systems...It has one of these but it ran out of film in 1989.

http://www.subclub.org/subjpegs/pazzazz.jpg

R8RFAN
06-20-2012, 06:03 PM
It has one of these but it ran out of film in 1989.

http://www.subclub.org/subjpegs/pazzazz.jpg

Wonder if it is Nuclear powered or Solar powered... I once heard that decaying uranium in the amount of a couple of tablespoons could power a car for 10k years.

Start Croyle
06-20-2012, 06:51 PM
Wonder if it is Nuclear powered or Solar powered... I once heard that decaying uranium in the amount of a couple of tablespoons could power a car for 10k years.

I believe they do use uranium! I'm not an expert though!

ZepSinger
06-20-2012, 07:10 PM
Wonder if it is Nuclear powered or Solar powered... I once heard that decaying uranium in the amount of a couple of tablespoons could power a car for 10k years.

from Wikipedia:

Voyager 1 has three large radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Each RTG contains 24 pressed plutonium-238 oxide spheres. The heat from the spheres generated about 157 watts of electric power at the launch, with the remainder being dissipated as waste heat. Hence there was a total of about 470 watts of electric power provided by the three RTGs.
The power output of the RTGs does decline over time, but the RTGs of Voyager 1 will continue to support some of its operations through about 2025.

whoman69
06-20-2012, 07:20 PM
I believe they do use uranium! I'm not an expert though!

70,000 years from now when this crash lands on another planet, the natives are going to curse us.

JD10367
06-20-2012, 07:55 PM
70,000 years from now when this crash lands on another planet, the natives are going to curse us.

http://img.trekmovie.com/images/voyagervi.jpg

Fish
06-20-2012, 08:45 PM
Wonder if it is Nuclear powered or Solar powered... I once heard that decaying uranium in the amount of a couple of tablespoons could power a car for 10k years.

Can't be solar powered. The sun is the size of pinhead from that distance...

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/2362/sunfromotherplanets1024.jpg

Marcellus
06-20-2012, 08:49 PM
This fucking thing was launched in 1977, is now 11 BILLION MILES FROM Earth and still communicating yet I still lose cell phone service 1/2 mile from my house in wide open space between 2 towers?

Fish
06-20-2012, 08:53 PM
This fucking thing was launched in 1977, is now 11 BILLION MILES FROM Earth and still communicating yet I still lose cell phone service 1/2 mile from my house in wide open space between 2 towers?

You just need to add some U 238 to your phone...

Gadzooks
06-20-2012, 11:02 PM
Can't be solar powered. The sun is the size of pinhead from that distance...

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/2362/sunfromotherplanets1024.jpg

The sun looks just as small from your anus as it does from Pluto:shrug:

I don't believe this is an accurate depiction... Frankly, I suspect it may be "Photo-shopped"

Fish
06-20-2012, 11:22 PM
http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/263/sunsizediagram.png


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/03/16/bafact-math-how-big-does-the-sun-look-from-pluto/

Pushead2
06-21-2012, 02:31 AM
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OT4B-NJUcZE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

whoman69
06-21-2012, 02:02 PM
This ****ing thing was launched in 1977, is now 11 BILLION MILES FROM Earth and still communicating yet I still lose cell phone service 1/2 mile from my house in wide open space between 2 towers?

I can't even get service downtown on mine.

Rain Man
06-21-2012, 02:54 PM
If I worked on one of those things it would've been very difficult to resist putting a hair in it somewhere, just to get my DNA out there for eternity.

Of course, there's always the risk of then having the aliens clone it and being faced with an invading army of rain man clones in the future, but by then I'm sure I'd be dead and wouldn't have to face it.

mlyonsd
06-21-2012, 03:08 PM
I wonder what the odds of another planet's Voyager type craft from another solar system are of running smack into ours and neither of us is the wiser.

Pasta Giant Meatball
06-22-2012, 06:28 PM
It will return...along with many a mock draft thread.

Rain Man
06-22-2012, 06:45 PM
I wonder what the odds of another planet's Voyager type craft from another solar system are of running smack into ours and neither of us is the wiser.

It probably depends on how big the other Voyager is. If it's smaller than ours, the odds are low. But if it's, like 50 feet long or something, a collision is pretty much inevitable, I think.