Voyager 1 has left the building.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #1
    Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier, becoming the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system, NASA said Thursday.

    Thirty-six years after it was launched from Earth on a tour of the outer planets, the plutonium-powered probe is more than 11 1/2 billion miles from the sun, cruising through interstellar space — the vast, cold emptiness between the stars, the space agency said.

    Voyager 1 actually made its exit more than a year ago, according to NASA. But it’s not as if there’s a dotted boundary line or a signpost out there, and it was not until recently that scientists with the space agency had enough evidence to say that the probe had finally plowed through the hot plasma bubble surrounding the planets and escaped the sun’s influence.

    While some scientists remain unconvinced, NASA celebrated with a news conference featuring the theme from “Star Trek.”

    “We got there,” said mission chief scientist Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology, adding that the spacecraft was “setting sail in the cosmic seas between the stars.”

    While Voyager 1 may have left the solar system as most people understand it, it still has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years to go before bidding adieu to the last icy bodies that make up our neighborhood.

    Voyager 1 will now study exotic particles and other phenomena in a never-before-explored part of the universe littered with ancient star explosions and radio the data back to Earth, where the Voyager team awaits the starship’s discoveries.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...a9b094-1bd4-11e3-80ac-96205cacb45a_story.html

    And a good article from The Verge
     
  2. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #2
    So Obama lost Voyager? :D
     
  3. macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Hopefully it won't alert some aliens to a protein source they didn't know about...
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    #4
    They should have stuck some viral microbes on the sucker. Take down the aliens before they get us! :D
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Kissaragi

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    #5
    Must be a massive delay on sending and receiving data now its that far out.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #6
    I thought this happened back in March? old thread
     
  7. thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #7
    Nasa just officially announced it today, They think it officially left August 25. There was still some debate on when it officially left that they concluded today.
     
  8. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #8
    Yes, a slight sense of deja vu seemed in order when I spotted the thread title, as I seem to recall the earlier thread (as this is the sort of topic that I find absolutely fascinating.)

    Nevertheless, irrespective of how we choose to mark the the existence of what we think might be the boundary of the end of the Solar System, this is an extraordinarily impressive (and interesting) achievement.
     
  9. localoid, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #9
    Hopefully, any aliens who cross paths with Voyager will be able to figure out the instruction manual...

    [​IMG]

     
  10. macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    #10
    A very religious acquaintance of mine mentioned that this possible could not happen because the God did not make the universe that big.

    Fun morning coffee, true story.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #11
    I've often wondered why people usually think any alien life out there is superior in knowledge. They may have been around longer but they may have evolved in a different and/or slower way.

    I guess voyager might let us know sometime in the future.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    [​IMG]
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #13
    [​IMG]
     
  14. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #14
    I think it is pretty fracking amazing that we can still communicate with something that is almost 40 years old, is traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, and is 11.5 billion miles away!:eek:
     
  15. macrumors 65816

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    #15
    That's a seriously good battery! :D
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #16
    Can you hear me now?

    wait for it...

    wait for it...

    wait for it...

    Good!

    :D
     
  17. Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    #17
    I found this on reddit:

    Continues on the link above. Quite a nice personification if you ask me.
     
  18. macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #18
    Battery only made with Plutonium-238.
     
  19. macrumors 603

    mobilehaathi

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    #19
    It should take ~17 hrs one way given a distance of ~125 AU (~18,700,000,000 km) and a signal traveling at c.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Mac'nCheese

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    #20
    But its mainly on standby and doesn't play candy crush all day so...
     
  21. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21
    Sigh. The sort of reply that seeks a perfervid escape from my head - while attempting to enlighten the sort of person who is imbued with the brand of religious belief which seems blissfully impervious to the extraordinary advances in human knowledge that the study of the natural sciences has bequeathed to us in recent centuries - might land this wonderful thread in in the less welcome outer reaches of PRSI territory. So, instead, I shall heroically resist such alluring intellectual temptation.........not without a struggle....

    Alien life could have evolved faster, or slower; it might be fearsomely and awesomely advanced, or, it might not.

    Personally, I like the implied modesty behind the thought that we might not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer, intellectually or developmentally, when viewed from the deep perspective of evolution (and extraordinary destruction) over an endless time of countless ages. Such a thought allows us to contemplate the possibility of alternatives, which can only be a refreshing change from the tedious days when we convinced ourselves that we had been crafted in the image of a divinity. Mere modesty is a far more appealing mindset than the appalling attitude of superiority our conviction of being the result of a thoughtful experiment in divinely inspired doodling on celestial drawing boards was.

    Ah, brilliant. Puts everything into perspective, don't you think?

    Absolutely agreed; it is.

    Lovely quote, and thanks for taking the time to post it.
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    APlotdevice

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    #22
    From what I understand, you can't really "conserve" power with an RTG. The radioactive material is going to decay whether you use the resulting electrical current or not.
     
  23. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #23
    How long does the Voyager have before it dies?
     
  24. thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #24
    The equipment will start to fail before the power dies.
     
  25. Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #25
    According to NASA and the JPL, no earlier than 2025.
     

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