Monday, July 24, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in
This news story is archived which means that, while it is still available to view, the information contained within may be outdated and the original source site/link may no longer be viewable.

For the most recent stories, please visit either the site's home page or main news section.

Has Voyager left the solar system ?

Posted on Thursday, 21 March, 2013 | Comment icon 38 comments | News tip by: keithisco


Image credit: NASA

 
The debate is on over whether or not the Voyager spacecraft has finally entered interstellar space.

Voyager-1 was launched back in 1977, embarking on a pioneering mission to explore the outer planets for the first time. It didn't stop there however, the spacecraft has been traveling now for more than 35 years and is located a staggering 18 billion kilometers away, the equivalent of 123 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Many scientists believe that Voyager has now left the solar system entirely, yet there is still much debate on the topic of exactly where our solar system ends and interstellar space begins.

Back in August a large increase in cosmic rays coupled with a drop in the intensity of energetic particles coming from the Sun signaled Voyager's potential exit from the heliosphere region at the very edge of the solar system. "Within just a few days, the heliospheric intensity of trapped radiation decreased, and the cosmic ray intensity went up as you would expect if it exited the heliosphere," said Prof Bill Webber. Some of the scientists at NASA however aren't convinced that this is definitive evidence that the probe has entered interstellar space.

Once it does leave the solar system the spacecraft will have a long, cold journey ahead of it. On it's current course and speed Voyager-1 will take somewhere in the region of 40,000 years to travel anywhere close to the next nearest star.

"The possibility that the Voyager-1 spacecraft may have left the Solar System is being hotly debated."

  View: Full article

 Source: BBC News


  Discuss: View comments (38)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #29 Posted by Frank Merton on 23 March, 2013, 12:11
Yes it would.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Taun on 25 March, 2013, 13:41
That would be a very arbitrary definition, as it would depend entirely on which direction you are heading in. While I completely agree with you on this... right now aren't ALL of our definitions on this a bit arbitrary?... Perhaps the last gift Voyager can give us is forcing the scientists to finally pin down exactly where the solar system ends - and what defines the limits.... Perhaps we could call it the "Voyager Line"...
Comment icon #31 Posted by Frank Merton on 25 March, 2013, 13:59
I'm not sure what it is but it seems he finds something to nitpick with everything I post. If he thinks about it awhile maybe he will realize it isn't all that arbitrary -- that once you've gotten about halfway from Sol to whatever is in that general direction, you will be out of the solar system.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 March, 2013, 14:48
While I completely agree with you on this... right now aren't ALL of our definitions on this a bit arbitrary?... Perhaps the last gift Voyager can give us is forcing the scientists to finally pin down exactly where the solar system ends - and what defines the limits.... Perhaps we could call it the "Voyager Line"... The heliopause isn't an arbitrary definition of the edge of the solar system, it is measurable. It is the point at which particles from the interstellar wind are greater in number than the particles from the solar wind. The argument between scientists is over whether this is what V... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by Frank Merton on 25 March, 2013, 14:50
Stars are distributed somewhat randomly, so as you get further out the chances of some star being closer to Sol increase even if it is not directly in your path.
Comment icon #34 Posted by danielost on 25 March, 2013, 15:04
Looks like we are going to just draw a line in space and call it the edge of the solar system. Kind of like we do with borders on earth. Which is why so many riversd are part of said border. Gives us something to see.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 March, 2013, 15:59
Looks like we are going to just draw a line in space and call it the edge of the solar system. Kind of like we do with borders on earth. Which is why so many riversd are part of said border. Gives us something to see. Yes and no. What Voyager is looking for is the start of interstellar space. It is a measurable thing. We could take the same instruments and find the heliopause around other stars, so it is a reproducible measurable definition of the edge of the solar system based on sound scientific principles. It is the sort of definition scientists like. As I said though, this is not the only ... [More]
Comment icon #36 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 March, 2013, 16:43
Just after I made my last post I came across this article on the Discovery site which says a lot of what I was trying to say (only a lot more eloquently): Where's the Edge of the Solar System? It's Complicated... If you thought finding a definition for Pluto was contentious, try defining the edge of the solar system.A press release from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) last week announced that on August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1, officially entered interstellar space. This milestone comes after speeding across the solar system for 35 years following its landmark flybys of the Jovian and S... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by danielost on 25 March, 2013, 17:43
Looks like we have to take it on one at a time, allowing room in our diion to change when needed. Becausde using your defintion the centary system would be about 1/2 a ight across.
Comment icon #38 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 March, 2013, 18:12
Looks like we have to take it on one at a time, allowing room in our diion to change when needed. No, the opposite is true. We need a definition which is standard and which can be applied equally to all systems. Both mine, and Frank's definition pass that rule. Becausde using your defintion the centary system would be about 1/2 a ight across. I assume you mean Alpha Centauri system. If you are talking about my definition (as opposed to Frank's) then the figure would be about 0.4 light years across, since Alpha Centauri C (Proxima Centauri) orbits at a distance of 0.2 ly from the system barycen... [More]


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5948480
256112
168278

 
 Cryptozoology, Myths and Legends
  Dragons
  Mystery 'creature' photographed in Scotland
  sea creature found in Australia
 Stories, Sightings & Experiences
  Burial Grounds
  Glowing red eyes
  Evan the Ghost Boy
Mystery woman 'wails through letterboxes'
7-23-2017
Several households in England have been plagued by a woman crying through their letterboxes at night.
Robot ventures inside Fukushima reactor 3
7-23-2017
Scientists in Japan have identified what could be fuel debris within the devastated nuclear reactor.
Public names locomotive 'Trainy McTrainface'
7-23-2017
A recent poll in Sweden has shown, once again, why asking the public to name anything is a bad idea.
Did sea creatures push US in to Vietnam War ?
7-22-2017
Back in 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin incident resulted in a renewed commitment to war with Vietnam.
Other news in this category
SpaceX ditches plans for 2018 Mars landing
Posted 7-21-2017 | 4 comments
Plans to land a modified version of the company's reusable Dragon capsule on Mars have been scrapped....
 
Today marks 48 years since first Moon landing
Posted 7-20-2017 | 13 comments
Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made history when they set foot on the lunar surface 48 years ago today....
 
NASA reveals amazing new Pluto flyover video
Posted 7-16-2017 | 14 comments
The footage has been constructed from the thousands of photographs taken by the New Horizons probe....
 
NASA doesn't have the funds to land on Mars
Posted 7-14-2017 | 24 comments
The space agency has admitted that it cannot currently afford to land humans on the surface of Mars....
 
Juno offers up stunning new images of Jupiter
Posted 7-13-2017 | 10 comments
The space probe has captured staggeringly detailed shots of Jupiter's centuries-old Great Red Spot....
 
Juno set to fly over Jupiter's Great Red Spot
Posted 7-10-2017 | 1 comment
NASA's Juno probe will soon be embarking on a long-awaited flyby of Jupiter's most prominent feature....
 
Mars may be a lot more toxic than we thought
Posted 7-7-2017 | 8 comments
New research has shown that the Martian soil is quite an inhospitable environment for microbial life....
 
Astronomers discover methanol on Enceladus
Posted 7-5-2017 | 11 comments
An unexpectedly high amount of the organic molecule has been found coming from Saturn's icy moon....
 
Hawking: 'Trump could turn Earth in to Venus'
Posted 7-5-2017 | 166 comments
In an interview on his 75th birthday, Professor Stephen Hawking warned of the dangers of global warming....
 
First Mars rover landed 20 years ago today
Posted 7-4-2017 | 2 comments
It has been exactly two decades since NASA's Pathfinder mission touched down on the surface of Mars....
 
NASA to launch asteroid deflection mission
Posted 7-2-2017 | 8 comments
For the first time ever, an asteroid deflection technique for planetary defense is set to be tested out....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ