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Voyager 2 discovers solar system is bent

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16 years 7 months ago #56336 by Seanie_Morris
Voyager 2 discovers solar system is bent was created by Seanie_Morris
New observations from NASA's long-running Voyager 2 spacecraft show the solar system is asymmetrical, likely from disturbances in the interstellar magnetic field, scientists reported on Monday. The discovery came after the 30-year-old unmanned probe sailed near the edge of the solar system this past summer following its twin, Voyager 1, which reached that part of space in 2004.

Researchers have long suspected the solar system was bent, but never had direct evidence until now. Voyager 2 crossed a barrier in the solar system known as the termination shock in August, some 10 billion miles from where Voyager 1 passed through. The termination shock is the region where charged particles from the sun abruptly slow down as they collide with other particles and a magnetic field in interstellar gas.

Scientists believe the unevenness is caused by the interstellar magnetic field that is pitched at an angle to the plane of the Milky Way. The magnetic field is disturbing an otherwise spherical surface.

Although Voyager 2 was the second probe to zip past the termination shock, scientists were nonetheless excited about the milestone. Unlike its twin, Voyager 2 had a working instrument that made the first direct measurements of the speed and temperature of the solar wind.

The nuclear-powered Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, are hurtling toward an uncharted region of space where the sun's influence wanes.

Voyager 1, the most distant of any manmade object, is traveling at 10 miles per second with its twin trailing close behind. It will take about a decade before the probes reach the heliopause, marking the beginning of interstellar space and the end of our solar system.



Quite exciting...

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16 years 7 months ago #56341 by johnomahony
Replied by johnomahony on topic Re: Voyager 2 discovers solar system is bent

Researchers have long suspected the solar system was bent, but never had direct evidence until now.
Quite exciting...


Yep, never turn your back to a Martian............

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16 years 7 months ago #56342 by XULYKS
Intersting read.

Another decade from now will hopefully bring some insight into what's really out there!

Yep, never turn your back to a Martian............

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Had to laugh at this one :lol:

Greg ;)


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16 years 7 months ago #56386 by johnomahony
Replied by johnomahony on topic Re: Voyager 2 discovers solar system is bent
Sorry Seanie :cry:
but with a posted thread title like this, someone was bound to make a smart comment.
Hope I'm not banned :wink:

The Lord giveth, the Revenue taketh away. (John 1:16)

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16 years 7 months ago #56415 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Voyager 2 discovers solar system is bent
Who would have guessed ! :lol:

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16 years 7 months ago #56442 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Voyager 2 discovers solar system is bent

Sorry Seanie :cry:
but with a posted thread title like this, someone was bound to make a smart comment.
Hope I'm not banned :wink:


Not at all, all you needed was a subtle prompt to bring out your naughty side John. I see this worked! :P

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Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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