Voyager 1 at Solar System’s Edge

Voyager 1 Reaches Pocket of Calm at Solar System’s Edge

Voyager 1, the U.S. spacecraft that left our planet 35 years ago to explore Jupiter and Saturn and then kept going, has encountered a pocket of stillness at the edge of the solar system, a finding that surprised scientists.

At the rim of the heliosphere, a bubble of charged particles that surrounds the solar system, Voyager 1 has met with milder wind than scientists projected, according to a report published today in the journal Nature. Where scientists anticipated a shift in winds along the edge of the bubble, Voyager 1 data showed hardly a breeze or a waft, they said.

Hypotheses about solar wind at the bubble’s boundary may need to be reformulated, wrote the authors of the study, led by Robert Decker of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland. It’s a surprise and not completely understood, said Eric Christian, a NASA researcher who had been a project scientist with the Voyager mission.

“The wind has slowed to not quite a halt but almost,” said Ed Stone, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, in a telephone interview. “We must be getting closer to the edge of the bubble, but we can’t say how close.”

Voyager 1’s conditions are different from those surrounding its brother, Voyager 2, both launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1977 and now traveling in opposite directions. Voyager 2, at about 14.9 billion kilometers (9.3 billion miles) from the Sun, is encountering the expected wind patterns, Stone said. He wasn’t an author on the study. Voyager 1 is about 18.2 billion kilometers from the Sun.

Whether it’s just in one region or what this means for how solar wind moves through the heliosphere is unknown, Stone said.

Also see Nasa;
Voyager at 35: Break on Through to the Other Side

I knew the project manager who did the communications systems on the Voyagers. He died a few years ago.

Great work!

Great, so the first impression we will make on extraterrestrial life is an obsolete spacecraft carrying a message from Jimmy Carter. :frowning:

:wink:

V-GER clip from Star Trek the Motion Picture

What would the scientists think if the spacecraft crashed into the edge of space.

:smiley:

Oops! We made a boo-boo! Take me to your leader! :eek::bigyikes::takethat::manvspc:

Run for the hills!! It’s the Kligons!:smiley:

They wouldn’t admit it.

Do you mean like in the Truman Show? That would be funny…

I wish we could have kept contact with Pioneer 10. It would be a lot further now. I had a bunch of photos NASA sent me as a kid during that mission.

Yes. Excellent work! It will be notable if the 1970s hardware gets to interstellar space.

Yes. Excellent work! It will be notable if the 1970s hardware gets to interstellar space.

It is remarkable how well Voyager has held up. Does anyone remember the first Star Trek movie, when the craft had been retrofitted by advanced life forms and called itself Veeger?

John

Congrats to the pilot & co-pilot :tiphat:

Certainly! VGER (voyager 6)

youtu.be/gxAaVqdz_Vk

Certainly! VGER (voyager 6)

Ooops…didn’t remember it was 6,

John

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