Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GingerCoffee, Nov 2, 2013.
More from 'Voyager 1 has left the building'.
Most often science amazes me. Sometimes it leaves me completely dumbstruck.
Some strange electron-plasma-pulse-thing was translated to sound and it could be used to see that Voyager 1 has left the heliosphere?
How on Earth do you come up with that idea, let alone prove it? Again, I'm completely dumbstruck.
By the way, I don't know anything about Voyager 1 except what this video taught me. Do anyone know how far it would be able to send signals to Earth? And how it communicates?
It' interesting that a detectable boundary has been encountered, but to call it the "edge" or :surface of the solar magnetosphere is highly misleading. The sun's magnetic field doesn't have a sharp boundary. Like most other physical forces, it eternally decreases in strength in inverse proportion to distance. In other words, it doesn't entirely cut off, it just fades away gradually. There's no "surface" against which CMEs (coronal matter ejections) can "splatter" as implied by the video. All it really means is that there was some other magnetic fluctuation out there that set up a peak of magnetic flux. From what source is pure speculation. We do know there is a lot of background energy in the universe - gravitational, magnetic, ionic, radiation - and it varies in complex ways. The density of matter between stars is mind-numbingly low, yet it does exist.
I find the fluctuations far more interesting in their own right, without arbitrarily declaring it the edge of the solar system. We can't observe such phenomena from earth at all, and it whets my intellectual appetite for more data than can be found along a single path of one tiny piece of terrestrial tech.
This is brand new data, from where no one has gone at all. At least no one from this tiny moist grain of sand in the vast universe.
Some indicators suggest a fairly sharp edge:
Wiki has a decent entry: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 which is on a different path out of the solar system.
The vehicles were sent on two trajectories on purpose, as the Sun and therefore the solar system is moving through interstellar space the heliosphere, solar wind 'bubble' so to speak, is believed to be compressed in front and have a longer tail on the receding edge. However, Voyager 2 has had technical difficulties.
This image shows the relative distances but doesn't give one a picture of where the two craft are relative to each other:
From Wiki: Voyager 1
Crossed the heliopause at 121 AU and entered the interstellar medium on 2012-08-25.
The NASA Webpage is a bit more precise as to where Voyager 2 is in relation to Voyager 1. Voyager 2 is still within the heliosheath and I believe is passing through a less compressed section of it.
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