Between the stars

Last days of a Voyager …

Originally posted by Earth Observatory:

Voyager 1 spacecraft launched September 5, 1977. Thirty-five years later, at 21:00 Universal Time on September 4, 2012, Voyager 1 was 11.31 billion miles from home. Signals to it take 33 hours and 44 minutes.

Crescent-shaped Earth and Moon was captured on 18 September 1977, Voyager was 7.25 million miles from Earth, directly above Mount Everest (on the night side of the planet at 25 degrees north latitude):

“The Pale Blue Dot” image was acquired on February 14, 1990, 4 billion miles from Earth and 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane:

The fuzzy light is scattered sunlight because Earth was very close to the Sun (from the perspective of Voyager). The image was part of a series of 60 images collected to make the first-ever mosaic portrait of our solar system.

Voyager 1 has been cruising toward the edge of the solar system, past the termination shock and into the heliosheath; the outer edge of influence for solar wind plasma and energy from our Sun.

The probe is now in the “doldrums” found in tropical seas on Earth. The solar wind has calmed, the magnetic field has piled up due to pressure from outside the solar system and high-energy particles appear to be leaking out into interstellar space.

The Voyager science team expects the spacecraft itself to pass out into that space sometime in the next year or so.

“Voyager tells us now that we're in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system,”
“Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back. We shouldn't have long to wait to find out what the space between stars is really like.”

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=79091&src=eoa-iotd

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8 thoughts on “Between the stars

  1. Originally posted by Aamf:

    The first picture above is simply beautiful, isn't it?

    Yes. And lonely.It's all our fault there are no other planets out there populated by now.When you think how every human culture since Noah has conspired to keep us in the dark and how much more dark is already out there….Does the moon seem to you to be the furthest away of the two planets?At that distance it ought to be a lot smaller if so. But it must be on this side of the earth. They are both facing the sun some equidistant 93 million miles away.Which means the light on the satellite was also showing the same crescent to any cameras behind it.

  2. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Crescent-shaped Earth and Moon was captured on 18 September 1977, Voyager was 7.25 million miles from Earth, directly above Mount Everest (on the night side of the planet

    Above Mt Everest means it was taken about or just before 6 am. Greenwich would be in the deep dark on the left and the date line coming up over the right.I called it 05:00: Right Distance From 47°N 7°E: Ascension Declination (AU) Altitude AzimuthSun 11h 42m 15s +1° 55.2' 1.005 -3.060 -96.115 SetMercury 10h 38m 33s +8° 38.9' 0.861 12.689 -89.114 UpVenus 9h 48m 40s +13° 57.8' 1.372 25.001 -83.704 UpMoon 15h 46m 1s -16° 13.6' 57.1 ER -54.033 -141.276 SetMars 6h 44m 55s +23° 24.0' 1.402 60.440 -44.731 UpJupiter 6h 17m 41s +22° 59.5' 5.160 62.986 -32.603 UpSaturn 9h 50m 4s +14° 15.0' 10.041 24.969 -84.191 UpUranus 14h 28m 23s -14° 14.1' 19.299 -42.208 -119.069 SetNeptune 16h 49m 17s -20° 58.3' 30.475 -63.412 -165.953 SetPluto 13h 15m 58s +9° 51.8' 31.357 -12.156 -119.204 SetYou can gauge the position of the moon from the RA or Right Ascension of Neptune and Uranus. The moon is just in between their angles.http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Solar(Post this:1977-09-18 5:00:00into the time box (UTC.))I am hopeless ate rotation but if it is all going anticlockwise, India would be on the bottom left I think. At 06:00 Mt Everest is nearest the sun.At 12:00 Greenwich is.At 18:00 Mississippi is nearest.Then at midnight the dateline.What do you think?

  3. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Which means the light on the satellite was also showing the same crescent to any cameras behind it.

    And a simple grasshopper would say 'what a bright and beautiful little planet is that other..'.

  4. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    India would be on the bottom left I think. At 06:00 Mt Everest is nearest the sun.At 12:00 Greenwich is.At 18:00 Mississippi is nearest.Then at midnight the dateline.What do you think?

    It would be quite right..At 16:00 Venezuela is..

  5. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Standard time zone: UTC/GMT -4:30 hours

    President Chávez took away one half an hour to our clocks years ago.. You don't know that clearly, do you?

  6. Originally posted by tdjmd1:

    At 16:00 Venezuela is.

    GMT?Standard time zone: UTC/GMT -4:30 hoursNo daylight saving time in 2012Time zone abbreviation: VET – Venezuelan Standard Time.UTC (GMT/Zulu)-time: Monday, September 17, 2012 at 19:57:18UTC is Coordinated Universal Time, GMT is Greenwich Mean Time.Great Britain/United Kingdom is one hour ahead of UTC during summer.http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/results.html?query=londonNine o'clock here now.

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