Voyager 1: 15 Billion km !

MacSA

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http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=1150


Voyager 1, already the most distant human-made object in the cosmos, reached 100 astronomical units from the sun on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:13 p.m. Eastern time (2:13 p.m. Pacific time). That means the spacecraft, which launched nearly three decades ago, will be 100 times more distant from the sun than Earth is.

In more common terms, Voyager 1 will be about 15 billion kilometers (9.3 billion miles) from the sun. Dr. Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist and the former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., says the Voyager team always predicted that the spacecraft would have enough power to last this long.

"But what you can't predict is that the spacecraft isn’t going to wear out or break. Voyager 1 and 2 run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but they were built to last," Stone said. The spacecraft have really been put to the test during their nearly 30 years of space travel, flying by the outer planets, and enduring such challenges as the harsh radiation environment around Jupiter.
 

runplaysleeprun

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Jul 27, 2004
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100 astronomical units
I don't think i've ever seen those units before. So, one astronomical unit is.... 15 million km? Are we still recieving radio signals from voyager? I wonder what the delay in the sending/recieving of signals is.
 

atszyman

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runplaysleeprun said:
I don't think i've ever seen those units before. So, one astronomical unit is.... 15 million km? Are we still recieving radio signals from voyager? I wonder what the delay in the sending/recieving of signals is.
Try 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles. 1 AU is equal to the average distance between the Earth and the sun.
 

Sdashiki

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Aug 11, 2005
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Behind the lens
I dont like how they say "run 24/7"....its a solid state "machine" it doesnt having moving parts and gizmos does it?

I understand the rigors of space being debri, radiation and possible UFO roadkill, but what does it matter that its electronics are in the "ON" position 24/7, if I recall correctly it runs on nuclear heat energy.
 

jsw

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Sdashiki said:
I dont like how they say "run 24/7"....its a solid state "machine" it doesnt having moving parts and gizmos does it?
Absolutely it has moving parts.

Moving platforms, moving thrusters, gyros, etc.

However, my best guess is that it's relatively immobile now as it's not moving around much if any to acquire targets.

See here for more info.
 

obeygiant

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totally cool
CallmeKenneth said:
So is it close to being a light-year away (I could work it out myself, but can't be bothered..:D)?
1 LY is a pretty cool distance...
someone said the voyager 1 spacecraft is 9,300,000,000 miles away.

1 light year = 5.87849981 × 10^12 miles or 5,878,499,810,000 miles

isnt alpha centari 1 light year away? our closest neighboring star?
 

jsw

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CallmeKenneth said:
So is it close to being a light-year away (I could work it out myself, but can't be bothered..:D)?
1 LY is a pretty cool distance...
As mentioned above, it isn't even a light day away.
 

Tanglewood

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I always found it interesting the whole delay on the light that comes from the sun. Like would it take us eight minutes to realize the sun exploded? and eight minutes and 1 second to be fried to a crisp? (This is my 500th post)
 

clayj

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Tanglewood said:
I always found it interesting the whole delay on the light that comes from the sun. Like would it take us eight minutes to realize the sun exploded? and eight minutes and 1 second to be fried to a crisp?
There's a difference between how the universe actually is at any instant (if you had godlike perception) and how we perceive it due to light-speed constraints... the physics term for what we see is the "light cone". Things exist beyond the light cone that we cannot perceive because the light/energy from them hasn't reached us yet.
 

MacSA

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Sdashiki said:
I dont like how they say "run 24/7"....its a solid state "machine" it doesnt having moving parts and gizmos does it?

I understand the rigors of space being debri, radiation and possible UFO roadkill, but what does it matter that its electronics are in the "ON" position 24/7, if I recall correctly it runs on nuclear heat energy.
Yes, but the electronics and computer having been running for nearly 30 years. Also, both it and Voyager 2 continue to return important scientifc data.
 

Sdashiki

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Aug 11, 2005
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the moving parts have been found, so that part of my question has been answered.

the rigors of space that ive read about that make me think of them as "hardy" machines is the turbulence of the heliosphere!
 

Queso

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Tanglewood said:
I always found it interesting the whole delay on the light that comes from the sun. Like would it take us eight minutes to realize the sun exploded? and eight minutes and 1 second to be fried to a crisp?
Also if the Sun just suddenly disappeared, the exact moment we saw it go would be the same moment the Earth would stop trying to orbit it, since even changes in gravitational effects are transmitted at the speed of light. Cool :cool:
 

obeygiant

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dynamicv said:
Also if the Sun just suddenly disappeared, the exact moment we saw it go would be the same moment the Earth would stop trying to orbit it, since even changes in gravitational effects are transmitted at the speed of light. Cool :cool:
just watch the Elegant Universe on NOVA
 

WildCowboy

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AhmedFaisal said:
AFAIK Pioneer 10 or 11 is even further out but they shut her down.
http://spaceprojects.arc.nasa.gov/Space_Projects/pioneer/PNhome.html

NASA said:
On 17 February 1998, Voyager 1's heliocentric radial distance equaled Pioneer 10 at 69.4 AU and thereafter exceeded Pioneer 10 at the rate of 1.02 AU per year.
Pioneer 10 is about 91 AU from the Sun, and its last signal was received in January 2003. Pioneer 11's last signal was received in September 1995 and the Earth's motion has since made it impossible to attempt further contact with the probe. It is probably around 71 AU from the Sun at this point.
 

clayj

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Mavimao said:
Some vBulletin systems use the concept of reputation, or "rep". Basically, you can give someone rep for saying something cool, or take rep away if they act like a schmuck. "+rep" is a way of saying "I agree with you and would rep you if I could".
 

jsw

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clayj said:
There's a difference between how the universe actually is at any instant (if you had godlike perception) and how we perceive it due to light-speed constraints...
Interestingly, there is no such thing as "any given instant", even with godlike perception. "Now" is a local thing and is not universal. In a static universe, perhaps there would be "universal" time. But in a dynamic one? No.

To me, that's quote cool.
 

Queso

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jsw said:
Interestingly, there is no such thing as "any given instant", even with godlike perception. "Now" is a local thing and is not universal. In a static universe, perhaps there would be "universal" time. But in a dynamic one? No.

To me, that's quote cool.
I particularly like the way that time moves at different rates depending on your location in the universe itself. So even if you could have instantaneous communication with another star system like on "Star Trek" the other end of the conversation could appear sped up from one person's perspective and slowed down from the other, even though there's nothing actually wrong with the equipment or the link.

Bloody brilliant the universe isn't it?