Space probe Voyager 1 reaches outer edges of solar system

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20 Responses to “Space probe Voyager 1 reaches outer edges of solar system”

  1. Grant Young says:

    I think the Voyagers are likely to be our civilization’s messengers to the future.  When we’re all gone they’ll be traveling through space.  The plaques and records on them might be the only evidence humanity ever existed. 

  2. How long will we be able to continue communicating with the probe?

  3. joe blough says:

     a sobering thing to do is load the exoplanet app on your iphone and check out where the two voyagers are (and the two pioneer spacecraft) relative to the sun. we haven’t really gone anywhere – these two probes are about an inch away from the front door. the edge of the porch is an eternity away.

  4. Martijn says:

    For just how long has Voyager been on the verge of leaving the solar system now? I remember hearing about this story for decades.

    • garyg2 says:

      I did read one definition of the solar system that argued gravitational influence should be taken into consideration which would mean the Voyagers would need to clear the Oort Cloud before being considered outside (not a scientist so don’t know how reasonable this statement is :))

      Bearing in mind the Oort cloud is a light year away, stories could keep on coming for a while yet… :)

    • Its not exactly the starship enterprise. Its going to take time to fully leave the solar system. Also I get the impression that the boundaries of the solar system are fuzzy and continually changing.

    • JhmL says:

       http://xkcd.com/1189/

  5. garyg2 says:

    Yep, 11 billion miles from Earth and actually getting closer…

    http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/index.html

    ;)

    • Chris Palmer says:

      I wonder if the distance from the earth is decreasing because the earth is moving in its orbit around the sun.  The distance from the sun continues to increase.  

      • garyg2 says:

        Exactly, it says on the page that the earth moves faster around the sun than voyager is travelling so at certain times of the year we’ll be catching her up. Assuming space probes are gendered like ships. :)

  6. Benjamin Young says:

    Nasa says nope: the voyager team’s consensus is that the probe has NOT yet left the solar system.    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/voyager20130320.html

  7. toobigtofail says:

    OK – “heliopause” was a new one on me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliopause_%28astronomy%29#Heliopause

  8. timquinn says:

    Well, I can’t see it.

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