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November 1, 2012

Voyager 1 moving beyond the solar system?

I wonder what it's like to be out there among the stars. Not just in the blackness of space where you can see tons of stars around you. I mean actually *among* the stars. Outside of the solar system. This idea used to be relegated to the realm of science fiction.

But maybe not anymore.

Before my latest blogging hiatus, I posted something on the Voyager space probes. I continue to marvel that these machines, built and launched in the 1970s, are still out there today transmitting back to Earth. Voyager 1 is the furthest out there right now, and a radio signal from it takes over 17 hours to reach Earth.

And boy are its arms tired!

Ummmm, anyway...

There's new stuff going on with the Voyager 1 probe. It's very possible that it has finally entered interstellar space, completely free of any gravitational pull put out by our sun, and completely at the mercy of those gravity and energy waves that inhabit that area.

Thankfully, the article's science isn't too heavy, and the graphs that it shows really illustrate why they think the probe may have left the solar system completely. The massive dive bomb of low-energy particle detections has to be seen to be believed.

I greatly anticipate hearing for sure whether it has. Our first interstellar voyager, out there where the aliens can really find it, and then find us. Isn't that the coolest thing?

I know this may not be of interest to all of you. I'm posting this for those science nerds among us (hi, Dawnie!!!!)

Let's just hope that the probe doesn't run into this guy.

That would be bad news for all of us, I think.


  1. Ha! I feel rather special and low-grade famous because of the shout out! ;)

    There was a cartoon dealie on FB a while back of the Rover on Mars...and I may have that name wrong (forgive me, if so). It showed the robot and a little cartoon bubble saying, "I've been here longer than you said. I've done all my work. Can I please come home now?" Yes, I teared up. Yes, I know it's a robot, but it still made my heart hurt!

    Voyager 1...the mind goes off into a spiral of "What if?" thoughts on this, yes? Where will it go, what will it see, who/what will see IT, and Star Trek-ish stuff is inevitable. Seeing Captain Kirk would be the most uber-cool thing ever, to my way of thinking! I hope Voyager 1 survives the cosmic buffeting and tempests, and goes on to continue to explore. And those who/what's out there, when they find Voyager 1, I hope they're all nice types who won't invade us and do bad stuff. Not kidding on that one! :)

    - Dawnie

  2. Of course you deserve a shout-out!

    That does sound like a cute cartoon. I can't remember which one of the Rovers is still functional, and I don't remember the other one's name, though one of them is Spirit.

    I love the "what if" scenarios that Voyager brings to mind. You do realize why I chose this specific Kirk picture, don't you? Though I don't remember whether V'Ger was Voyager 1 or Voyager 2.

    I think it would be so cool if some alien species eventually did stumble upon Voyager and make use of that golden record.

  3. Oh, I absolutely recognized the reason for that specific photo! I don't remember which Voyager produced V'Ger either, to be honest, but I did immediately recognize the photo.

    Aliens using that golden record is all good. Just no coming to Earth and conquering us and doing bad things. Seriously. :)


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