Feb 7 2013
11:08 am

The Mrs. and I were reminiscing the other day about Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Veeger (a/k/a V'Ger a/k/a Voyager 1) requiring the information.

I vaguely recalled seeing something about Voyager in the news recently. Sure enough, it's still out there, on the edge of our solar system, still acquiring and sending information*...


Dec. 3, 2012: NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region at the far reaches of our solar system that scientists feel is the final area the spacecraft has to cross before reaching interstellar space.

Scientists refer to this new region as a magnetic highway for charged particles because our sun's magnetic field lines are connected to interstellar magnetic field lines. This connection allows lower-energy charged particles that originate from inside our heliosphere -- or the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself -- to zoom out and allows higher-energy particles from outside to stream in.

"Although Voyager 1 still is inside the sun's environment, we now can taste what it's like on the outside because the particles are zipping in and out on this magnetic highway," said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "We believe this is the last leg of our journey to interstellar space. Our best guess is it's likely just a few months to a couple years away. The new region isn't what we expected, but we've come to expect the unexpected from Voyager."

Voyager 1 and 2 were launched 16 days apart in 1977. At least one of the spacecraft has visited Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Voyager 1 is the most distant human-made object, about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) away from the sun. The signal from Voyager 1 takes approximately 17 hours to travel to Earth. Voyager 2, the longest continuously operated spacecraft, is about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from our sun.

JPL Voyager Mission Page

NASA Voyager Mission Page

(*I suppose technically it is still sending data, which is interpreted by JPL scientists to create knowledge and information.)

bizgrrl's picture

interstellar magnetic field

interstellar magnetic field lines, heliosphere, bubble of charged particles, most distant human-made object, about 11 billion miles

Ya gotta love this stuff. Oh to be a Voyager project scientist.

R. Neal's picture

Fantastic! A remarkable guy

Fantastic! A remarkable guy and a remarkable career.

Min's picture

That is so cool.

I wish this country still had that kind of devotion to scientific exploration.

R. Neal's picture

Wow, the IUE is still in

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

State .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Monthly archive