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Voyager 1 reaches interstellar space


Crepuscular Ray
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Posted
  • Location: Brecon Beacons, South Wales
  • Location: Brecon Beacons, South Wales

    Yet another milestone for a spacecraft operating on nothing but inertia, plus a max of 470 watts (since deteriorated greatly) to power its scientific systems. And as for its ability to send data back, how many other tape recorders from 1977 are still working?

     

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/12sep_voyager1/

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent

    It's a real trouper isn't it. Be interesting to see the data it sends back about interstellar space. May confirm some theories or provide something unexpected.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    the usual crap reported by NASA...who writes their articles, a 5 year old??.......Voyager has not left the solar system and will not for several hundred years, it hasn't even reached the orbits of many inner Kuiper Belt objects, and won't reach the inner boundary of the Oort cloud for at least 400 years....It's approx 17 light hours from earth currently, and the sun's gravitational influence (ie the true edge of the solar system) extends out to 1.5 light years!

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    Posted
  • Location: Brecon Beacons, South Wales
  • Location: Brecon Beacons, South Wales

    They don't seem to count the Oort cloud as an intrinsic part of the Solar System. Given that that's a quarter of the way to the nearest known other stars, they may have a point. Voyager 1 is now at c. 125 AU, well beyond the 30-50 AU of the Kuiper belt.

     

    What the title, in effect, is meaning is that Voyager 1 appears, according to some instruments, to have got through the heliopause to the point where measurements for plasma from the interstellar medium (ISM) have rocketed and the effects of the boundary shock between the ISM and the solar wind have diminished to the point that it's obvious that the solar wind is now not having that much of an effect.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    that only applies to kuiper belt objects in a circular orbit..................on the flip side, we have dwarf planets such as Sedna, on a highly elliptical orbit which on it's closest approach is still 76AU (7 billion miles from the sun) and at its alphelion is a whopping 937AU (87 billion miles from the sun). Such objects are classed as belonging to the solar system

     

    I think NASA's statement is very misleading, as by definition, the gravitational boundaries of the solar system are at the point where objects no longer orbit the sun (approx 50,000AU)

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    Posted
  • Location: Brecon Beacons, South Wales
  • Location: Brecon Beacons, South Wales

    But well beyond the "inner Kuiper belt objects" you mentioned, given that they're at 30-50 AU, whether in circular orbits or not. Don't some scientists speculate that Sedna is actually part of the Oort cloud rather than a KBO, anyway, given that its perihelion is 76AU, so well outside the KBO's main region? Even the Minor Planet Centre classifies it as belonging to the "scattered disc", not the KBO, while Mike Brown (aka the man who killed Pluto, and the a member of the team that discovered Sedna) of Caltech thinks it's an Oort cloud member that has suffered some form of gravitational disturbance.

     

    You're obviously defining the outer limits of the solar system by a completely different set of criteria to NASA, given that you're using gravitaitonal influence and they're talking about where the solar wind is outweighed by the ISM, so I guess you're not going to agree. Who's right, technically, I don't know, but if it drums up some interest in astronomy, I say let them have their say - they've defined what they mean so aren't actually making unsubstantiated claims.

    Edited by Crepuscular Ray
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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    But well beyond the "inner Kuiper belt objects" you mentioned, given that they're at 30-50 AU, whether in circular orbits or not. Don't some scientists speculate that Sedna is actually part of the Oort cloud rather than a KBO, anyway, given that its perihelion is 76AU, so well outside the KBO's main region? Even the Minor Planet Centre classifies it as belonging to the "scattered disc", not the KBO, while Mike Brown (aka the man who killed Pluto, and the a member of the team that discovered Sedna) of Caltech thinks it's an Oort cloud member that has suffered some form of gravitational disturbance.

     

    You're obviously defining the outer limits of the solar system by a completely different set of criteria to NASA, given that you're using gravitaitonal influence and they're talking about where the solar wind is outweighed by the ISM, so I guess you're not going to agree. Who's right, technically, I don't know, but if it drums up some interest in astronomy, I say let them have their say - they've defined what they mean so aren't actually making unsubstantiated claims.

    not at all, I'm interested in who at NASA scripted the announcement as to be honest, most astronomers that I've heard don't class the heliopause as the edge of the solar system?.......Anyhoos, it's all splitting hairs, the Voyager probes are a testimony to humankind's spirit of space exploration, and I hope that near future space exploration projects be given the go ahead and not be blackballed by 'busy body' US Senators!

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    Posted
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent

    Well, whatever the argument, it's somewhere we've never been before & have only been able to speculate/theorise about. We may get some useful & interesting stuff back from our little warrior!

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    Posted
  • Location: N.Bedfordshire, E.Northamptonshire
  • Weather Preferences: Cool not cold, warm not hot. No strong Wind.
  • Location: N.Bedfordshire, E.Northamptonshire

    Good ole solid state tech and 70's building, can you image a modern built SMT bit of circuit board lasting this long?

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    • 3 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Regardless of how we define the solar system, passing into interstellar solar winds is a great accomplishment for our species.

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