MessageToEagle.com - Exactly thirty-five years ago, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft, the first Voyager
spacecraft to launch, departed on a journey that would make it the only spacecraft to visit Uranus and
Neptune and the longest-operating NASA spacecraft ever. Voyager 2
and its twin, Voyager 1, that launched 16 days later on Sept. 5, 1977, are still going strong, hurtling away from our sun.
Mission managers are eagerly anticipating the day when they break on through to the other side – the space between stars.
"Even 35 years on, our rugged Voyager spacecraft are poised to make new discoveries as we eagerly await
the signs that we've entered interstellar space," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California
Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
"Voyager results turned Jupiter and Saturn into full, tumultuous worlds,
their moons from faint dots into distinctive places, and gave us our first glimpses of Uranus and Neptune
up-close. We can't wait for Voyager to turn our models of the space beyond our sun into the first observations from interstellar space."
Voyager 2 became the longest-operating spacecraft on Aug. 13, 2012, surpassing Pioneer 6, which launched
on Dec. 16, 1965, and sent its last signal back to NASA's Deep Space Network on Dec. 8, 2000. (It operated for 12,758 days.)
Scientists eagerly awaiting the entry of the two Voyagers into interstellar space have recently seen
changes from Voyager 1 in two of the three observations that are expected to be different in interstellar space.
The prevalence of high-energy particles streaming in from outside our solar system has jumped, and the
prevalence of lower-energy particles originating from inside our solar system has briefly dipped, indicating
an increasing pace of change in Voyager 1’s environment.
Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, from the NASA Kennedy Space Center at Cape
Canaveral in Florida, propelled into space on a Titan/Centaur rocket. Credits: JPL/NASA
Voyager team scientists are now analyzing data on
the direction of the magnetic field, which they believe will change upon entry into interstellar space.
Notable discoveries by Voyager 2 include the puzzling hexagonal jet stream in Saturn's north polar region,
the tipped magnetic poles of Uranus and Neptune, and the geysers on Neptune's frozen moon Triton. Although
launched second, Voyager 1 reached Jupiter and Saturn before Voyager 2, first seeing the volcanoes of Jupiter's
moon Io, the kinky nature of Saturn's outermost main ring, and the deep, hazy atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.
Voyager - 35 Years Later
This video drops in on mission control for NASA's Voyager spacecraft as Voyager 1 sends back data
from the far reaches of our solar system.
Voyager 1 also took the mission’s last image: the famous solar system family portrait that showed our Earth
as a pale blue dot.
Voyager 2 is about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from the sun, heading in a southerly direction.
Voyager 1 is about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) away from the sun, heading in a northerly direction.
For the last five years, both spacecraft have been exploring the outer layer of the heliosphere, the giant
bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself.
"We continue to listen to Voyager 1 and 2 nearly every day," said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "The two spacecraft are in great shape for having flown
through Jupiter’s dangerous radiation environment and having to endure the chill of being so far away from our sun."
Dodd and her team have been carefully managing the use of power from the continually diminishing energy
sources on the two spacecraft. They estimate that the two spacecraft will have enough electrical power to
continue collecting data and communicating it back to Earth through 2020, and possibly through 2025.
While no one really knows how long it will take to get to interstellar space, Voyager scientists think we
don't have long to wait. And, besides, the first 35 years have already been a grand ride.
A public lecture about the journey of the twin Voyager spacecraft will be held at JPL on Sept. 4.
More info - here .
Shockwaves Could Crinkle Space-Time Creating A New Kind Of Singularity
Mathematicians have discovered a new way to crinkle up the fabric of space-time, at least in theory.
"We show that space-time cannot be locally flat at a point where two shock waves collide," said Blake Temple, professor of mathematics at UC Davis.
"This is a new kind of singularity in general relativity."
Space-Time Crystal Computer That Can Outlive Even The Universe Itself!
It may seem strange to think something can survive even the death of the Universe, but that could actually be possible as a result of the laws of quantum physics.
Scientists are now suggesting a new blueprint for a device, known as a time crystal, that can theoretically continue to function as a
Most Alien World We Can Only Imagine
This is not an alien world, anyone of us will ever be able to visit.
It's not very far away, only about 40 light years from Earth, but it circles dangerously close to a stellar inferno, completing
one orbit in only 18 hours. The alien planet named "55 Cancri e" is 26 times closer to its parent star than Mercury is to the Sun.
The temperature on the surface of 55 Cancri e is estimated to be as high as 2,700 degrees Celsius.
X-ray 'Echoes' Will Help Probe
A Supermassive Black Hole's Surroundings
Most big galaxies host a big central black hole containing millions of times the sun's mass. When matter streams toward one of
these supermassive black holes, the galaxy's center lights up, emitting billions of times more energy than the sun.
For years, astronomers have been monitoring such "active galactic nuclei" (AGN) to better understand what happens on the brink of a monster black hole.
Mysterious X-Rays From Jupiter Near The Poles
Although there had been prior detections of X-rays from Jupiter with other X-ray telescopes, no one expected that the sources of the
X-rays would be located so near the poles.
The X-rays are thought to be produced by energetic oxygen and sulfur ions that are trapped in Jupiter's magnetic field and crash into its atmosphere.
Tranquil Galaxy NGC 1187 Home To Violent Events
A new image, the most detailed ever taken with ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1187.
This impressive spiral lies about 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus...
Next Magnetic Pole Reversal Is Underway - Scientists Say
A new study indicates that there is a possible connection between the Earth's inner core and a magnetic reversal.
The magnetic field reverses direction every few thousand years. If it happened now, we would be exposed to solar winds capable of knocking
out global communications and power grids...