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Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:01 PM

Nasa's Voyager 2 sends back its first signal from interstellar space

Source: The Guardian

Twelve billion miles from Earth, there is an elusive boundary that marks the edge of the sunís realm and the start of interstellar space. Voyager 2, the longest-running space mission, has finally beamed back a faint signal from the other side of that frontier, 42 years after its launch.

The Nasa craft is the second ever to travel beyond the heliosphere, the bubble of supersonic charged particles streaming outwards from the sun. Despite setting off a month ahead of its twin, Voyager 1, it crossed the threshold into interstellar space more than six years behind, after taking the scenic route across the solar system and providing what remain the only close-up images of Uranus and Neptune.

Now Voyager 2 has sent back the most detailed look yet at the edge of our solar system Ė despite Nasa scientists having no idea at the outset that it would survive to see this landmark.

ďWe didnít know how large the bubble was and we certainly didnít know that the spacecraft could live long enough to reach the edge of the bubble and enter interstellar space,Ē said Prof Ed Stone, of the California Institute of Technology, who has been working on the mission since before its launch in 1977.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/nov/04/nasa-voyager-2-sends-back-first-signal-from-interstellar-space

29 replies, 4910 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Nasa's Voyager 2 sends back its first signal from interstellar space (Original post)
brooklynite Nov 2019 OP
getagrip_already Nov 2019 #1
brooklynite Nov 2019 #4
erronis Nov 2019 #12
BumRushDaShow Nov 2019 #7
AllaN01Bear Nov 2019 #2
tblue37 Nov 2019 #3
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2019 #5
BumRushDaShow Nov 2019 #6
machoneman Nov 2019 #8
Harker Nov 2019 #9
Volaris Nov 2019 #13
sarge43 Nov 2019 #10
Delphinus Nov 2019 #23
sarge43 Nov 2019 #24
Delphinus Nov 2019 #25
sarge43 Nov 2019 #28
Hekate Nov 2019 #11
LudwigPastorius Nov 2019 #14
lunatica Nov 2019 #15
Igel Nov 2019 #18
lunatica Nov 2019 #19
Pepsidog Nov 2019 #16
lordsummerisle Nov 2019 #17
Auggie Nov 2019 #20
KY_EnviroGuy Nov 2019 #21
roamer65 Nov 2019 #29
Hotler Nov 2019 #22
Anon-C Nov 2019 #26
okieinpain Nov 2019 #27

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:08 PM

1. Just curious: Why are we reading this from an overseas paper?

And not a domestic one?

Have the news outlets fallen that far?

Great news btw, just wish our press covered science.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:26 PM

4. ...because I have a subscription to the Guardian.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:10 PM

12. I have a subscription to the NYT, WaPo, Guardian and others. The Guardian is my first check-in

during the day. Perhaps because it and Reuters (another great source) are up earlier than the US outlets generally are.

Somehow I've lost my subscription cards to WSJ, Breitbart, StormyThingy, etc.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:01 PM

7. NYT did finally tweet about their article on this

(you have to dig through their science sections)



TEXT
Kenneth Chang @kchangnyt

Forty-two years ago, Jimmy Carter was president, and NASA's two Voyager spacecraft launched. Today, Jimmy Carter is still going, and so are the Voyagers! https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/science/voyager-2-interstellar-solar-wind.html Ö
A view of Neptune and its moon Triton from a distance of about 3 million miles, taken by Voyager 2 during its flyby of the blue giant in 1989.
Voyager 2ís Discoveries From Interstellar Space

In its journey beyond the boundary of the solar windís bubble, the probe observed some notable differences from its twin, Voyager 1.
nytimes.com
55
12:21 PM - Nov 4, 2019


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/science/voyager-2-interstellar-solar-wind.html

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:09 PM

2. peep.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:23 PM

3. Big K&R! nt

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:35 PM

5. "I ... M ... P ...." NT

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:55 PM

6. I guess they were surprised to actually hear back from it!



Wonder if it will suffer the same fate as its later iterations -



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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:32 PM

8. Yeah! IMPEACH THE BASTARD or...the Earth gets it!

Bwahahaha!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:53 PM

9. A good companion of my adulthood.

Launched shortly after I graduated high school. I sat in a planetarium as live images from Saturn came in line by line.

By any measure, a tremendously successful project.

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Response to Harker (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:22 PM

13. Yep. NASA actually stands for 'tax dollars,.. spent right!'

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:10 PM

10. In all the dark places where you walk, may the gods be with you. Ancient Egyptian prayer. n/t

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Response to sarge43 (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 09:19 PM

23. Oh,

that is nice. Thank you. I want to remember that.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 10:09 PM

24. Thank you.

I came across it in Harlan Ellison's essay about the Voyager 2 passage around Jupiter.

Fascinating that words first spoken at least 4 thousand years ago are still appropriate today.

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Response to sarge43 (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 10:40 PM

25. I appreciate

you expounding on this. It is amazing how some things that seem so disparate and far reaching actually tie back into each other. Reading the story about VGER 2 put me into a magical place ... what you wrote deepens it greatly.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 11:12 PM

28. I understand

These explorers aren't just machines. There's something alive about them; they're courageous and hopeful.
They explore and discover; it's a very human passion. They send us treasure.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:10 PM

11. Wonderful stuff. I'm glad to hear Voyager 2 is still sailing on.

It warms my heart, actually.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:27 PM

14. 11.3 billion miles away, and counting...

It takes a signal, traveling at the speed of light from this spacecraft, almost 17 hours to get to us.

And yet, (to really get a sense of how vast space is) to travel the distance to the star closest to the Solar System, it would still take Voyager 2 over 70,000 years.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:30 PM

15. Pretty amazing!

So many of our space faring vehicles have lasted longer than they were expected to. Itís great!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 06:02 PM

18. They designed them tough.

From the first idea in the '60s under Johnson, to the green light and all the real planning/design/budgeting under Nixon (and then Ford), till final testing under Carter.

These things take years to plan and build. Voyager I was launched in 9/77, when they were still under Ford's last budget and Carter not in office for 9 months. Voyager 2 was launched earlier by a couple of weeks.

Now we have cubesats.

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Response to Igel (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 06:28 PM

19. It's one tick away from small interstellar drones

Or do we already have those?

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:59 PM

16. Incredible. Simply incredible.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 05:05 PM

17. k&r n/t

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 06:46 PM

20. It would be awesome to know of it's fate, such as ...

will it ever cross paths with another life form?

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 08:21 PM

21. Here's three sources a little closer to the horse's mouth....

NASA/Voyager WEB Site

Link: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/index.html

NASA Article:
Nov. 1, 2019
Voyager 2 Illuminates Boundary of Interstellar Space

Link: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/voyager-2-illuminates-boundary-of-interstellar-space

(snip)
The Voyager probes launched in 1977, and both flew by Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 2 changed course at Saturn in order to fly by Uranus and Neptune, performing the only close flybys of those planets in history. The Voyager probes completed their Grand Tour of the planets and began their Interstellar Mission to reach the heliopause in 1989. Voyager 1, the faster of the two probes, is currently over 13.6 billion miles (22 billion kilometers) from the Sun, while Voyager 2 is 11.3 billion miles (18.2 billion kilometers) from the Sun. It takes light about 16.5 hours to travel from Voyager 2 to Earth. By comparison, light traveling from the Sun takes about eight minutes to reach Earth.


JPL WEB Site:

Link: https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/

--------------

Space.com

Voyager 2's Trip to Interstellar Space Deepens Some Mysteries Beyond Our Solar System


Link: https://www.space.com/nasa-voyager-2-interstellar-space-mysteries.html

(snips)
"We didn't know how large the bubble was," Stone said. "And we certainly didn't know that the spacecraft could live long enough to reach the edge of the bubble and leave the bubble and enter interstellar space."

(A quick note here: Entering interstellar space is not the same thing as leaving the solar system, because the sun's gravitational influence extends far beyond the heliosphere. Indeed, trillions of comets orbit in the Oort Cloud, thousands of AU from the sun, and they're still considered part of the solar system.)

But the Voyagers are nearing the end of the line. Each spacecraft is powered by three radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which convert to electricity the heat generated by the radioactive decay of plutonium-238. The RTGs' power output decreases over time as more and more of the plutonium decays.


KY........ ......to NASA

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #21)


Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 08:40 PM

22. Yeah science.....

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 10:53 PM

26. Utterly...

...Amazing!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 11:02 PM

27. Thank you. Fantastic story. N/t.

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