Voyager 2 is back up and running!

NASA is reporting on their Voyager Twitter feed that the Voyager 2 spacecraft is once again operational.

Kind of astonishing that 70s space tech that is 11.5 billion miles away from home is still talking to us. The Voyager 2 ran into trouble in late January and became unresponsive.

Read more on JPL's website.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Read the rest

Where are the Voyager spacecraft headed and what might they encounter next?

In this video on the UK-based V101 Science YouTube channel they ask the musical question: "What will Voyager 1 and 2 encounter next?"

Next stop for Voyager 1? An obscure red dwarf known as Gliese 445 in the constellation Camelopardalis. It will take the then long-dead spacecraft over 38,000 years to get there. Voyager 2 is hellbound in the direction of Sagittarius and will arrive in the neighborhood in some 40,000 years. Its first encounter will be with Ross 248 in the constellation of Andromeda.

Of course, we all know what's really going to happen to at least one of these probes. It's going to be picked up by a highly-evolved machine race and turned into the heart of a vast killer plasma cloud that will return to our solar system and try to destroy Earth. Read the rest

Pluto and other known “not-planets” in our solar system mapped in scale image montage

“Their non-planetary status is a handicap because these are the worlds that we need to get Earthlings excited about exploring.”