Topic: Interstellar Space
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Scifi movies are sometimes criticized when explosions in the void make noise. As the old saying goes, “in space, no one can hear you scream.” Without air there is no sound.
But if that’s true, what was space physicist Don Gurnett talking about when he stated at a NASA press conference in September 2013 that he had heard “the sounds of interstellar space?”
It turns out that space can make music … if you know how to listen.
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun.
New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. Voyager is in a transitional region immediately outside the solar bubble, where some effects from our sun are still evident.
A report on the analysis of this new data, an effort led by Don Gurnett and the plasma wave science team at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, is published in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science.
Washington, D.C. – Like a comet, the solar system has a tail. NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has for the first time mapped out the structure of this tail, which is shaped like a four-leaf clover.
Scientists describe the tail, called the heliotail, based on the first three years of IBEX imagery in a paper published in the July 10th edition of the Astrophysical Journal.
Pasadena, CA – Data from NASA’s Voyager 1, now more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun, suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space.
Research using Voyager 1 data and published in the journal Science today provides new detail on the last region the spacecraft will cross before it leaves the heliosphere, or the bubble around our sun, and enters interstellar space.
Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region at the far reaches of our solar system that scientists feel is the final area the spacecraft has to cross before reaching interstellar space.
Scientists refer to this new region as a magnetic highway for charged particles because our sun’s magnetic field lines are connected to interstellar magnetic field lines.
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft launched 35 years ago still going strong as it hurtles towards Interstellar Space
Written by Jia-Rui Cook
Pasadena, CA – Thirty-five years ago today, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, the first Voyager spacecraft to launch, departed on a journey that would make it the only spacecraft to visit Uranus and Neptune and the longest-operating NASA spacecraft ever.
Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager 1, that launched 16 days later on September 5th, 1977, are still going strong, hurtling away from our sun. Mission managers are eagerly anticipating the day when they break on through to the other side – the space between stars.
Written by Jia-Rui Cook
Pasadena, CA – Two of three key signs of changes expected to occur at the boundary of interstellar space have changed faster than at any other time in the last seven years, according to new data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft.
For the last seven years, Voyager 1 has been exploring the outer layer of the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. In one day, on July 28th, data from Voyager 1′s cosmic ray instrument showed the level of high-energy cosmic rays originating from outside our solar system jumped by five percent.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – For nearly 35 years, NASA’s Voyager 1 probe has been hurtling toward the edge of the solar system, flying through the dark void on a mission unlike anything attempted before. One day, mission controllers hope, Voyager 1 will leave the solar system behind and enter the realm of the stars—interstellar space.
That day may be upon us.
“The latest data from Voyager 1 indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing quickly,” says Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. This is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system’s final frontier.”
Written by DC Agle
Pasadena, CA – Data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft indicate that the venerable deep-space explorer has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond our solar system has markedly increased.
Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion – that humanity’s first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of our solar system.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Greenbelt, MD – This just in: The Solar System is different from the space just outside it.
Researchers announced the finding at a press conference on January 31st, 2012. It’s based on data from NASA’s IBEX spacecraft, which is able to sample material flowing into the solar system from interstellar space.
“We’ve detected alien matter that came into our solar system from other parts of the galaxy–and, chemically speaking, it’s not exactly like what we find here at home.” says David McComas the principal investigator for IBEX at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
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