Nasa's Voyager 2 probe leaves the Solar System

Gordon_R

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#1
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46502820

The Voyager 2 probe, which left Earth in 1977, has become the second human-made object to leave our Solar System.
The news was revealed at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in Washington.

And the chief scientist on the mission, Prof Edward Stone, confirmed it.

He said both probes had now "made it into interstellar space" and that Voyager 2's date of departure from the Solar System was 5 November 2018.
On that date, the steady stream of particles emitted from the Sun that were being detected by the probe suddenly dipped.

Voyager 2 present location is some 18 billion km (11 billion miles) from Earth. It is moving at roughly 54,000km/h (34,000mph; with respect to the Sun).

Voyager 1 is further and faster still, at 22 billion km and 61,000km/h.
The Voyagers were sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going.

Prof Stone said that at the start of the mission the team had no idea how long it would take them to reach the edge of the heliosphere - the bubble of particles and magnetic field from our Sun.
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Compton_effect

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#3

Arthur

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What an awesome achievement these early probes were and still are.

Useless pub quiz factoid: Voyager 2 was launched about two weeks before its sibling Voyager 1.

Now waiting for V'Ger.

As an aside, the signal processing tech originally developed for Mariner and also used on Voyager, was at the time adapted by Bob Carver in his awesome Phase Linear Auto-Correlator hi-end audio kit.
 
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Gordon_R

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Is the speed constant or increasing over distance?
Its still under the gravitational pull of the sun, but very weak at that distance, and it is not in orbit, so it will never return: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyag...e:Voyager_2_velocity_vs_distance_from_sun.svg

Amazing that they still manage to pick up signals from it.[/URL]
A lot of details about power, communications and telemetry receivers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_program

Then between 1986 and 1989, new techniques were brought into play to combine the signals from multiple antennas on the ground into one, more powerful signal, in a kind of an antenna array. This was done at Goldstone, California, Canberra, and Madrid using the additional dish antennas available there. Also, in Australia, the Parkes Radio Telescope was brought into the array in time for the fly-by of Neptune in 1989. In the United States, the Very Large Array in New Mexico was brought into temporary use along with the antennas of the Deep Space Network at Goldstone. Using this new technology of antenna arrays helped to compensate for the immense radio distance from Neptune to the Earth.
At a rough guess I would say the signal sensitivity (-180dBm) is on a par with GPS (-160dBm), though parabolic antennas are necessary at both ends, since the respective distances are much larger. See: https://www.quora.com/How-can-Voyag...-to-do-so-more-than-20-years-after-its-launch
 

AstroTurf

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I always find myself feeling just a little human empathy toward these machines, consciously knowing that they will never have any emotion whatsoever...
 

Arthur

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I always find myself feeling just a little human empathy toward these machines, consciously knowing that they will never have any emotion whatsoever...
Hehe. It's just tin, as of course you well know.

But Never is a big word.

Do yourself a favor and watch Star Trek - The Motion Picture. It's why I mentioned V'Ger above.

It might change your mind (a little). ;)
 

AstroTurf

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#13
Hehe. It's just tin, as of course you well know.

But Never is a big word.

Do yourself a favor and watch Star Trek - The Motion Picture. It's why I mentioned V'Ger above.

It might change your mind (a little). ;)
Watched it many, many, many times :D

May be where the empathy for silicone and steel comes from, well, that and futurama (V-Giny)...
 

eg2505

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#14
I always find myself feeling just a little human empathy toward these machines, consciously knowing that they will never have any emotion whatsoever...
well its going where no human made device has ever gone before, into the great unknown,
quite amazing how we are sending a message (golden disk) in a bottle into the great ocean of the cosmos.

(until they are a bug on the alien spacecrafts windshield)

or they track it back, and answer, and decide to invade earth and enslave us humans, and strip mine Earth for its resources
kind of like that uncontacted tribe recently in the news.

except, humanity is the uncontacted tribe this time.
 

Clive2

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#15
we will not invade you..
we will not enslave you..
we are your friends..
we just want your sodium-rich sea water.
u-ani-shot.png
Besides the SETI aspect, Voyager could also be a time-capsule for future humans to re-discover.
 

hj2k_x

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Almost lost in the background noise of the universe. Their power source should run out by 2030.
Still blows my mind - a eight track tape for a hard drive and 256k memory - with a processor that has less processing power than the chip on your credit card...
That is amazing. Given the failure rate and lifespan of modern gadgets irs amazing that these 40 year old little probes are still smashing on through space, quietly going about their business.
 
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