Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Farewell, Voyager

If you're my age, and in any way interested in science, you probably remember being inspired by all of the great images of Jupiter and Saturn that came out when I was in about fifth or sixth grade as the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes flew past our Solar System's biggest planets. You may even remember watching Carl Sagan tell us all about them on TV. Anyway, Voyager 1 (here in LEGO form by Shane Larson) is at the very edge of the Solar System. At about 11 billion miles away from the Sun, the probe has entered a region where the effect of the solar wind, energy and particles being pushed out from our sun, is all but gone, and it is starting to feel the currents of interstellar space. The batteries will last until the year 2025, so as the probe goes further, scientists are looking forward to learning more about what it's really like out there beyond the edge of our chunk of the galaxy.

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