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Voyager 2 has now entered interstellar space

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Gecks

So we can still receive a signal from Voyager 2 ok at that distance? How far out will it need to be before we can no longer? 

Edited by Gecks

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paperdyer
32 minutes ago, Gecks said:

So we can still receive a signal from Voyager 2 ok at that distance? How far out will it need to be before we can no longer? 

I was wondering about that as well.  If they can the signals will take a long time.  How we'll still know how to receive them.  We don't need V'ger coming home looking for its creator.

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Waspie_Dwarf
46 minutes ago, Gecks said:

So we can still receive a signal from Voyager 2 ok at that distance? How far out will it need to be before we can no longer? 

That's not a totally straightforward thing to answer as there are seveal factors involved. 

Firstly, and most obviously, the signal we receive on Earth gets weaker the further Voyager moves away from us.

The second factor is its power source. It uses a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). These are diminishing in power as they age.

The most likely out come is that, to preserve the spacecraft as long as possible, NASA will begin switching off some of the instruments in around 2020. Some time in the late 2020s or early 2030s the RTGs will generate too little power for the Voyagers to transmit and they will go silent. 

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.
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Waspie_Dwarf
11 minutes ago, paperdyer said:

If they can the signals will take a long time. 

Not at the speed the Voyagers are travelling. In more than 40 years the Voyagers have managed to get a to just 17 light hours from Earth.

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joc
7 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Not at the speed the Voyagers are travelling. In more than 40 years the Voyagers have managed to get a to just 17 light hours from Earth.

So, if Voyager 1 was traveling in the direction of the red dwarf Proxima Centauri at a constant velocity of 60,000 km/hr, it would take 76,000 years (or over 2,500 generations) to travel that distance.

 

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Gecks
9 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

That's not a totally straightforward thing to answer as there are seveal factors involved. 

Firstly, and most obviously, the signal we receive on Earth gets weaker the further Voyager moves away from us.

The second factor is its power source. It uses a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). These are diminishing in power as they age.

The most likely out come is that, to preserve the spacecraft as long as possible, NASA will begin switching off some of the instruments in around 2020. Some time in the late 2020s or early 2030s the RTGs will generate too little power for the Voyagers to transmit and they will go silent. 

May not have been a straightforward answer but you did a great job of it. Thank you

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qxcontinuum

It is impressive to even think about the fact that we still capture signals from these two.

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