Monday, September 25, 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news story is archived which means that, while it is still available to view, the information contained within may be outdated and the original source site/link may no longer be viewable.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:

5989973
257818
169553

 
Neanderthal brains developed slower than ours
9-24-2017
The skeleton of a young Neanderthal has revealed that our brains did not develop at the same rate.
Plant-eating dinosaurs sometimes ate crabs
9-24-2017
Fossilized droppings have revealed that some herbivorous dinosaurs occasionally snacked on seafood.
Pyramid construction mystery has been solved
9-24-2017
New evidence has shed light on exactly how huge stone blocks were transported to the site of the pyramids.
Saudi Arabian textbook shows Yoda at the UN
9-23-2017
A doctored image of Yoda at the United Nations has somehow ended up in a history textbook.
Other news in this category
Juno captures stunning new images of Jupiter
Posted 9-23-2017 | 35 comments
NASA's Juno probe has sent back four breathtaking new images of the gas giant's swirling atmosphere....
 
100 people could live on the Moon by 2040
Posted 9-22-2017 | 13 comments
ESA's ambitious 'Moon village' plan could see humans living on the lunar surface within 25 years....
 
Europe withdraws from anti-asteroid mission
Posted 9-21-2017 | 5 comments
An upcoming mission designed to test out the deflection of a large asteroid has hit a bit of a snag....
 
Three planets to hide behind the Moon today
Posted 9-18-2017 | 1 comment
Venus, Mars and Mercury will all be temporarily disappearing behind the Moon over the next few hours....
 
Mars simulation crew to emerge after 8 months
Posted 9-17-2017 | 3 comments
The crew of six NASA astronauts has been living in a dome near one of Hawaii's largest volcanoes....
 
Mysterious exoplanet is 'blacker than asphalt'
Posted 9-16-2017 | 4 comments
A 'hot Jupiter' world situated 1,400 light years away reflects so little light that it appears pitch black....
 
Cassini is destroyed as it flies in to Saturn
Posted 9-15-2017 | 36 comments
One of the greatest robotic space missions of all time has finally reached its inevitable conclusion....
 
Titanium oxide detected on extrasolar planet
Posted 9-14-2017 | 2 comments
For the first time, astronomers have picked up signs of titanium oxide on a distant extrasolar world....
 
Has China managed to crack NASA's EmDrive ?
Posted 9-13-2017 | 34 comments
Chinese scientists have allegedly built a working prototype of the 'impossible' space engine....
 
Cassini set for total destruction on Friday
Posted 9-11-2017 | 36 comments
NASA's long-lived Cassini spacecraft will begin its final descent in to Saturn's atmosphere this week....
 
Full SpaceX spacesuit has now been revealed
Posted 9-11-2017 | 11 comments
Elon Musk has followed up last month's teaser image with a full photo of the firm's new spacesuit design....
 

 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