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View Full Version : Voyagers 1&2 soon to actually leave the solar system



beskeptical
2006-May-23, 09:10 PM
Voyager 2 Detects Odd Shape of Solar System's Edge (http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060523/sc_space/voyager2detectsoddshapeofsolarsystemsedge), Yahoo news.

This article was really about the magnetic field of the Sun and how it is shaped. Interestingly the shape suggests a "galaxy wind" is blowing the Sun's magnetic much the same way the solar wind blows on the Earth's magnetic field.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could comment on that and on which direction the Galaxy wind is coming from and what is the source. I made up the name Galaxy wind and don't really know what to call it.

It struck me that there was a significant event about to happen here. We will have a probe outside of the solar system for the first time. It's one thing to monitor the outside. It's quite another to actually step out the door.

It gave me a different sense of place somehow. I wonder if anyone else feels the same.

Saluki
2006-May-23, 09:23 PM
"Outside the Solar System" is a relative term. The probes are still well within the Heliosheath, and are nowhere near the Bowshock yet.

beskeptical
2006-May-23, 09:28 PM
"Outside the Solar System" is a relative term. The probes are still well within the Heliosheath, and are nowhere near the Bowshock yet.So do you think these probes will crash before they get there?

Or were you just trying to add a little information about the event and it came across like you were annoyed at my post?

The word "soon" is relative as well if you'd rather get nit picky instead of enjoying the wonder of the Universe.

Saluki
2006-May-23, 09:34 PM
Huh?

I was quibbling about the article's implication that the probes are/will soon be outside the solar system. It all depends on how you define it. If there is any annoyance, it is at the authors of the article and/or their information sources. You simply did not enter the picture.

I am not sure what they would crash on, but we will most certainly lose contact with them long before they reach the Heliopause. They will still be out there, but will not be able to tell us what they see.

Blob
2006-May-23, 10:23 PM
(September 23, 2005)
Hum,
just to say
"Voyager 1 has already passed the termination shock, where the million-mile-per-hour solar wind abruptly slows and becomes denser and hotter as it presses against interstellar gas. It was expected the wind beyond the shock would slow to a few hundred thousand miles per hour. But the Voyager scientists were surprised to find that the speed was much less, and at times the wind appeared to be flowing back inward toward the sun."

Read more (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=940) (old news)

beskeptical
2006-May-23, 10:37 PM
Huh?

I was quibbling about the article's implication that the probes are/will soon be outside the solar system. It all depends on how you define it. If there is any annoyance, it is at the authors of the article and/or their information sources. You simply did not enter the picture.

I am not sure what they would crash on, but we will most certainly lose contact with them long before they reach the Heliopause. They will still be out there, but will not be able to tell us what they see.Then that would be affirmative to "Or were you just trying to add a little information about the event and it came across like you were annoyed at my post?" and a negative to "So do you think these probes will crash before they get there?"

I was being sarcastic about the crashing thing in reply to how I took your post. Thanks for the clarification.

A.DIM
2006-May-24, 01:24 PM
I wonder, could this possibly support a sort of binary hypothesis where the sun's companion's, or perturbing body's, own charged particles are responsible for the "pressing in" of the heliosphere?

Highly speculative, I know, but...

ToSeek
2006-May-24, 02:49 PM
Thread moved from "Astronomy" to "Space Exploration".

Saluki
2006-May-24, 03:51 PM
I wonder, could this possibly support a sort of binary hypothesis where the sun's companion's, or perturbing body's, own charged particles are responsible for the "pressing in" of the heliosphere?

Highly speculative, I know, but...

Interesting concept. If we had enough data points, you would think we could finally either find the companion (based on the shape of the termination shock), or put the idea to rest.

Edit: Does anyone know of a link to a graphic that shows where New Horizon will cross the termination shock in realation to the points where the Voyagers crossed?

beskeptical
2006-May-24, 05:32 PM
Thread moved from "Astronomy" to "Space Exploration".[Star trek theme song]..."To boldly go where no man [or woman] has gone before"...[/Star trek theme song]....


With your Avatar, ToSeek, I just couldn't resist. :dance:

Mellow
2006-May-31, 09:43 AM
I would be interested if there was a site that explained the path the Voyagers are on in relation to the solar system and also relative to the Pioneer probes. I thought there was a site but have not been able to find it.

I have found this site
http://cohoweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/helios/book2/book2.html
but wondered if there was anything a little more graphic / up to date.

Damburger
2006-May-31, 10:58 AM
I get the impression that the edge of the solar system keeps getting redefined so people have stories to write about the Voyagers.

Maybe we should define the edge of the solar system as 'one days travel in front of Voyager 2 on a slow news day'

antoniseb
2006-May-31, 12:42 PM
I get the impression that the edge of the solar system keeps getting redefined so people have stories to write about the Voyagers.

I think that's accurate. That is to say, the Voyagers detect a transition in the medium they're travelling through, and a scientist tries to explain it to a science writer, and the science writer only understands the idea of "The edge of the Solar System". So, it isn't really getting redefined from the point of view of the scientist, who knows that the Solar System has no "edge", though it may have a Heliopause in some or all directions.

Hamlet
2006-May-31, 02:13 PM
I would be interested if there was a site that explained the path the Voyagers are on in relation to the solar system and also relative to the Pioneer probes. I thought there was a site but have not been able to find it.

I have found this site
http://cohoweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/helios/book2/book2.html
but wondered if there was anything a little more graphic / up to date.

The Heavens Above (http://www.heavens-above.com/) website has a page that shows the current positions of the Pioneer and Voyager (http://www.heavens-above.com/solar-escape.asp) probes.

The JPL Solar System Simulator (http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/) allows you to select any of the Pioneer and Voyager probes and display them from various vantage points and time. You'll have to play around with the simulator parameters to get the view you want, but it's well worth the effort. I've found that checking the "extra brightness" checkbox makes for a better image, at least on my monitor. It's a neat piece of software. I've used it in the past to make animations of the movements of spacecraft and planets.

ToSeek
2006-May-31, 04:44 PM
Voyager Data May Reveal Trajectory Of Solar System; Possible Presence Of Companion Star (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060531081518.htm)


According to Cal Tech's Ed Stone, the former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a Voyager chief scientist, the shape of the bubble is determined by what is pressing on the solar system from the outside, meaning the shape and force of interstellar gases. That is one explanation. Another put forth by Walter Cruttenden of the Binary Research Institute is that local gases are fairly uniform and the shape derives from the trajectory of the solar system through local space -- possibly in its orbit around a companion star.

A.DIM
2006-May-31, 09:19 PM
Yep.
It stands to reason that BRI would forward the idea.

What gets me is why ScienceDaily would headline the article that way or even use BRI as a source.

Another, more relevant, question is if we've observed so many binaries in the Milky Way alone, how does this newly discovered shape of our heliopause compare to other stars' heliopause in binary systems?

antoniseb
2006-Jun-01, 01:20 PM
if we've observed so many binaries in the Milky Way alone, how does this newly discovered shape of our heliopause compare to other stars' heliopause in binary systems?

I don't think we've specifically observed the heliopause's shape around any star except the Sun. It has always been doubtful that the shape should be "spherical" since the Sun is plowing through the interstellar medium. Especially now that we think we are on the boundary of a cloud of some sort, you'd expect some deformation of the sphere in anisotropy of the medium.

A.DIM
2006-Jun-01, 02:07 PM
I see, thanks.

More observation required, no doubt.

Saluki
2006-Jun-01, 04:10 PM
I think this is a question that probably will not be firmly resolved any time soon. To really get the shape of the heliopause, you would need to send out several probes in different directions. To determine variability in the shape, you would need to put those probes into orbits around the heliopause, and monitor the data long-term. Even then, you only have data on the heliopause of one star.

Mellow
2006-Jun-02, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the urls, they are great.

publiusr
2006-Jun-28, 06:15 PM
Voyager Data May Reveal Trajectory Of Solar System; Possible Presence Of Companion Star (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060531081518.htm)

Interesting.

Ort cloud or Kuiper objects as shared objects (now captured) as a result of this other star's orbiting objects having collisions within that system perhaps?