As of 2019, only five space probes are leaving the solar system: Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and New Horizons. The Voyagers already left the solar system and entered the interstellar space (Voyager 1 on August 25, 2012, and Voyager 2 on November 5, 2018. The others also will leave the heliosphere Notes 1 and reach the interstellar space in a few years.
All of these spacecraft are launched by NASA.
Continue reading Five space probes leaving the solar system (for now)
Launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the outer solar system, the Voyager 1 is the furthest human-made object from Earth. As of January 10, 2019, the space probe is more than 13,491,481,615 miles (21,712,434,988 km) away from our home planet. It is also moving away at a speed of 38,026.77 mph (61,198.15 km/h) relative to the Sun. But, thanks to NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) Notes 1, we can still communicate with it (also with its sister, Voyager 2). But how far can Voyager 1 go before we lose communication?
The video published by the Primal Space channel below looks at how we communicate with Voyager and when it will eventually stop receiving our signals.
Continue reading Watch: How far can Voyager 1 go before we lose contact?
According to a new study, microbes like those found in Earth’s deep ocean could potentially thrive in the underground ocean of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Both molecular hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) already have been detected in the plume. Researchers have shown that Methanothermococcus okinawensis, a methanogenic archaeon first isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent on the western Pacific Ocean, can produce methane under conditions known to exist on Enceladus.
Continue reading We May Have Already Detected Signs of Alien Microbes on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus
It took 27 years, but finally, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft beat Voyager 1’s record for being farthest from Earth while capturing images. Taken on December 5, 2017, New Horizons image of the open star cluster NGC 3532 (also commonly known as the Football Cluster or the Wishing Well Cluster) became the farthest image ever made by any spacecraft, breaking a 27-year record set by Voyager 1. But for a very short time! About 2 hours later, New Horizons broke its own record with images of two Kuiper Belt objects.
For a short time, the image below, New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) frame of the galactic open star cluster NGC 3532 (aka the Football Cluster or the Wishing Well Cluster), taken on December 5, 2017 (released on February 8, 2015), was the farthest image ever made by a spacecraft, breaking a 27-year record set by Voyager 1. New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers or 40.9 astronomical units-AUNotes 1) from Earth when LORRI took the routine calibration image.
Continue reading New Horizons beats Voyager 1’s Record for being farthest from Earth while capturing images
Twelve years ago, on January 19, 2006, aboard an Atlas V rocket, NASA’s New Horizons probe started its fantastic voyage of exploration with a spectacular launch from the Florida coast toward Pluto and the mysterious realm of the Kuiper Belt beyond.
Video: two views of launch of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket on January 19, 2006, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. New Horizons was the fastest spacecraft ever launched, leaving Earth at approximately 16.26 kilometers per second (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph).
Continue reading Watch: 12 Years Ago, New Horizons’ fantastic voyage began with a spectacular launch
On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, a set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully fired up for the first time since November 1980, after 37 years without use.
Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Having operated for more than 40 years as of December 4, 2017, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 141 AUNotes 1 (2.11×1010 km), or approximately 13 billion miles (21 billion km) from the Sun as of November 22, 2017, it is NASA’s farthest and fastest spacecraft. It is also the only human-made object in interstellar space, within the environment between the stars.
Continue reading Voyager 1 Fired Up its Thrusters for the first Time in 37 Years
Earth is actually a fragile and isolated rock, a “blue marble” in a vast, cold and hostile space. But only after seeing our planet from space we truly understood that. Seeing the Earth first time from a distance was a powerful experience which has changed the way we see our planet. Here are the top 10 most iconic photos of Earth from space.
Continue reading Top 10 Most Iconic Photos of Earth from Space
Our Solar system is big, and vast, despite it is really small compared to our galaxy, not to mention the complete universe. To put this into a perspective, you can think yourself as a photon emitted by the Sun. It takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth after a photon has been emitted from the Sun’s surface. And it takes 5 hours to get out to Pluto from the Earth. The edge of the Solar System is far beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Continue reading Leaving Solar System at the Speed Of Light
But, where’s the edge of the Solar System? Well, It’s complicated. Informally, the term “solar system” is often used to mean the space out to the last planet – Neptune. Some scientists think that the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets. The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU (Astronomical Unit, the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is around 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers) from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU.
The farthest spacecraft from Earth, NASA’s Voyager 1 Notes 1 probe took a photo of planet Earth in 1990, from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40 AU) from Earth. The photo is known as the Pale Blue Dot. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a fraction of a pixel (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. It was a part of the solar system Family Portrait series of images.
Continue reading Pale Blue Dot
The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of Carl Sagan Notes 2.