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Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Science |

Voyager spacecraft leave the solar system ahead of schedule

Voyager spacecraft leave the solar system ahead of schedule


In 1977, shot into probe 1. Today, 34 years, 9 months and 17 days later, the man-made device that has gone furthest in history, and would be next to leave the at any time. Last year, NASA said the spacecraft was in a hitherto unknown new region of space called “stagnation” that would be the last layer of the bubble that surrounds our solar system.

“The analysis indicates that the boundary between and bubble of charged particles around the sun pushes itself probably is between 16,000 and 23,000 million kilometers from the sun, with a best estimate of approximately 18,000 million kilometers. Whereas the Voyager is approximately 18,000 million kilometers away, could cross into interstellar space at any time, “said Tom Krimigis, Voyager investigator.

The new calculations were made on data from the Cassini spacecraft, orbiting Jupiter, and has sensors to capture atoms that come from outside our solar system. The results were published in the journal Nature.

“These calculations show that we are getting closer, but how much? It’s what we do not know, but Voyager 1 is moving 1,600 million kilometers every three years, so we could not expect much, “said Ed Stone, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology.

The Voyager 1 and sister Voyager 2 (which goes back) are in the “heliosheath” where the sun begins to lose influence and its winds are stopped by the pressure of the gas in interstellar space. Both sensors transmit information to Earth via radio signals, using the Deep Space Network , a network of antennas installed in different probes that are in space. The time it takes to reach Voyager 1 Earth depends on the distance in a straight line with our planet, and now would be about 16 hours.

Link: Recalculating the distance to interstellar space (NASA)

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