Our star is a raging nuclear furnace hurtling through the galaxy at about , miles an hour as it orbits the galactic center. The sun is also rent through with twisted, braided magnetic fields and, as a result, its surface constantly throws off a breeze of electrically charged particles called the solar wind. Eventually, the solar wind smashes into the interstellar medium, the debris from ancient stellar explosions that lurks in the spaces between stars. Based on Voyager data, this bubble extends about 11 billion miles from the sun at its leading edge, surrounding the sun, all eight planets, and much of the outer objects orbiting our star.
NASA's last original Voyager engineer is retiring
Voyager, The Love Story | Science Mission Directorate
Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1. Four decades later, both spacecraft survive, still producing science, still working on their interstellar missions. Still, for most of us here on Earth, the most important accomplishments of the Voyager missions were completed thirty years ago, with the first reconnaissance of what was then thought of as the outer half of the solar system. Following the final planetary flyby, imaging team member and Planetary Society founder Carl Sagan spearheaded an effort to get Voyager 1 to look back at its birthplace, imaging Earth in the context of the solar system, as just one of many planets. That effort resulted in the famous Pale Blue Dot photo, of Earth as a mote of light suspended in a sunbeam. Sagan later wrote a book titled Pale Blue Dot , featuring a moving essay on how small Earth is in the vastness of space. You can read that essay here, or listen to actor Robert Picardo read Sagan's words:.
Free Voyager Essays and Papers
In , Voyager 1 and 2 started their one-way journey across our galaxy, travelling a million miles a day. Jonathan Margolis meets the dedicated team keeping the craft moving. O n a chilly March morning, Steve Howard, aged 65, is at work in his office on the northern edge of Pasadena, California. Two computer screens are squeezed on to his corner desk along with family photos, a tissue box and tins of Altoids Curiously Strong Peppermints.
Four decades ago, they embarked on an ambitious mission to explore the giant outer planets, the two outermost of which had never been visited. These two intrepid spacecraft continue to return data to NASA daily, offering a window into the mysterious outer realms of our solar system and beyond. Try these standards-aligned lessons and activities with students to bring the wonder of the Voyager mission to your classroom or education group. Try this lesson in calculating launch windows to get an idea of how it was done.