Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Another off-topic gob-smacker

Another near-Neil-Armstrong moment (like this one) is upon us: Voyager 1 has begun transiting the heliopause, the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space. All being well, Voyager will actually go interstellar within the next five years. Yes, five years — it's a big boundary, and not an artificial one: it's where the solar wind's strength is no longer great enough to push back the stellar winds of the surrounding stars (see the linked article for a nice graphic).

For anyone keeping track, Voyager 1 was launched 33 years ago, finished its main job 21 years ago, and is still sending useful observations from its on-board instruments. Truly awe-inspiring.

Ride, Voyager, ride...

No comments: