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Voyager 1 - Confirmed left Solar System
 

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Wheels
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 1147
Location: Needham, MA

9/12/13 6:03 PM

Voyager 1 - Confirmed left Solar System

Say what you want above NASA/JPL, but this is pretty damn cool. Voyager 1, launched in 1977 and designed for a 5 year mission, is still working and as of approx. a year ago, confirmed in the last few days to be the first man-made object to have left the solar system.

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16795
Location: Portland, OR

9/12/13 6:08 PM

That is pretty cool to be sure...

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8310
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

9/12/13 6:09 PM

I am impressed that it still works after all these years. Now that it is this far out its chances of getting fragged by the sun's destructive radiation is much lower, so it may just get on for another 40years or so if the power continues to hold on.

Last edited by ErikS on 9/13/13 3:02 PM; edited 1 time in total

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16795
Location: Portland, OR

9/12/13 6:10 PM

An old analog machine, just saying....

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mag7
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 888
Location: Lake James, NC

9/12/13 6:33 PM

"Voyager series, designed to collect data and transmit it back to Earth."

VGER Lives - YIKES!!!

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Craig
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 556

9/13/13 4:01 AM

http://xkcd.com/1189/

Just sayin'

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Wayne
Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Posts: 1475
Location: Newark, DE

9/13/13 5:25 AM

So when will it get somewhere that other intelligent life, assuming it's out there, might find it?

A few hundred thousand years? A million plus?

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4177
Location: Nashua, NH

9/13/13 5:48 AM

Probably never

Space is simply too vast.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

9/13/13 6:06 AM

Vast?

Yeah, it's vast. But at least Voyager is talking (if mainly in one direction) so there's a chance someone might find it.

But yeah. Space is BIG:

“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.” -- H2G2

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3223
Location: Springfield

9/13/13 8:12 AM

Voyager is 17 light hours away
The next closest star is 37,160 light hours away

If it were aimed well, by the time it arrives Merckx will be hailed as the second greatest road racer in history. But it wasn't aimed, so he will still be #1! That makes sense, right?

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sandiway
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4902
Location: back in Tucson

9/13/13 3:31 PM

Dated technology...


quote:
phonograph record-a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk
...
Each record is encased in a protective aluminum jacket, together with a cartridge and a needle.



Oh boy... says a lot if that was the state of the art at the time Voyager was launched...

Nowadays, you'd just throw in an iPod with Miley Cyrus twerking and the aliens will understand...

Sandiway

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16795
Location: Portland, OR

9/13/13 3:38 PM

"Nowadays, you'd just throw in an iPod with Miley Cyrus twerking and the aliens will understand... "

Memory card with the data, but as far as Miley Cyrus twerking, it ought to keep them away...

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8310
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

9/13/13 7:47 PM

Actually the phonograph was a great idea. Unlike digital media, the disk is protected and won't degrade over time. The device is simple yet still embeds an enormous amount of info.

Carl Sagan and the others that put the idea together thought it through very well and even today it would be a very viable way of sending the information out in space where it could go in for a million years before ever being discovered by other life.

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sandiway
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4902
Location: back in Tucson

9/13/13 8:12 PM

digital media lifetime

We all know CDs and flash drives won't last long. But recently there have been articles on using glass to store vast amounts of data. The lifetime? Basically unlimited, i.e. millions of years...

Sandiway

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16795
Location: Portland, OR

9/13/13 8:14 PM

How do we know that the V'ger record isn't fractures into a million pieces.. Do they have the same opinion as in the day as what temps it would have to endure??

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3223
Location: Springfield

9/14/13 12:57 AM

The background temperature of the galaxy / universe had been known since about 1964, but no matter what, absolute zero is a baseline. Being copper, the record will not become brittle.

Unlike an ipod, the disc is unaffected by cosmic rays.

I like the fact that it contains color photos too.

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8310
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

9/14/13 5:58 AM

The disk is gold, it won't oxidize or breakdown. It was a smart choice. Like I stated a lot of thought went into it.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4177
Location: Nashua, NH

9/14/13 10:09 AM

Voyager will not continue to transmit indefinitely.

From what I heard on the radio a couple of weeks back, it's pretty close to the point where its solar panels will no longer collect enough light to provide power for the electronics and it will go dark permanently soon.

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8310
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

9/14/13 11:27 AM

"Electrical power is supplied by three Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). The current power levels are about 315 watts for each spacecraft. As the electrical power decreases, power loads on the spacecraft must be turned off in order to avoid having demand exceed supply. As loads are turned off, some spacecraft capabilities are eliminated."

Not solar, which is pretty much useless much past Mars.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16795
Location: Portland, OR

9/14/13 11:42 AM

RTG read on wiki an interesting read...

Thanks for the primer Erik

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3223
Location: Springfield

9/14/13 1:14 PM

Gold plated copper in an aluminum sleeve electroplated with U-238 (thanks to Wikipedia for the 238 factoid, well thought out indeed.)

A personal favorite is Carl Sagan's musical selection.

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8310
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

9/14/13 5:37 PM

My grab was from JPL.

BTW folks, as many of you know I went back to college a couple of years ago.

What you may not know is I am a science major with 2 years of astronomy now. Stellar and planetary. I love the stars.

Carl Sagan was one of the best teachers ever.

There is a man following in his footsteps though.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kBTd9--9VMI&feature=share&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkBTd9--9VMI%26feature%3Dshare
Dr. NdT is also a great teacher.
I look forward to this series.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3223
Location: Springfield

9/14/13 9:43 PM

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html

"The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record-a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk"

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4177
Location: Nashua, NH

9/15/13 7:21 AM

Thanks for the clarification Erik

I did recall that functionality was being turned off and that it was not expected to function indefinitely. I take it that RTGs lose power as their fuel decays?

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