Tag Archives: Heliosphere

The Voyager Deep Space Update…

Humanities only interstellar ambassadors, the Voyager spacecraft, are on the verge of entering deep space. NASA has previously predicted that Voyager 1 would make the transition to deep space sometime during 2012 or 2013, now instruments on-board Voyager 1 suggest the transition to deep space may be very close.

Voyager 1’s instruments are indicating a steep increase in galactic cosmic rays, one of the indicators that Voyager 1 is entering deep space, leaving the safety of the heliosphere. Protecting the solar system from cosmic radiation the Heliosphere is part of the Sun’s magnetic field and marks the boundary between our solar system and interstellar or deep space.

At 18 billion kilometers from the sun Voyager 1 has already traveled an incredible distance. Communications now take 16 hours and 38 minutes to reach NASA’s network on Earth, while the Voyagers continue traveling at a speed of 17 kilometers per second towards the unknown.

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Deep Space Voyager…

In the cold dark recesses of space a single mission carries the torch for humanity. Voyager 1 and 2 are soon to leave the solar system completely, entering deep space with its sensors being our eye’s and ears. Will they be required to stay left unless overtaking on some inter-galactic super highway ? That’s the adventure, we don’t know. The Voyager space craft have a history of surprising us, a tradition that will continue as long as the batteries hold up.

“They are about to break free of the solar system,” Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., said during a media teleconference (April 28). “We are trying to get outside of our bubble, into interstellar space, to directly measure what is there.”

The Voyager craft have reached the outer border of our solar system, the heliosphere. The heliosphere is the border-land between our solar system and deep space, like the shiny surface of a bubble. The heliosphere marks the end of the Sun’s sphere of influence, it is where the solar winds run out of steam and the furthest point of the magnetic field. Voyager 1 passed the first layer of the heliosphere, the termination shock and entered the heliosheath in the middle of December 2004.

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