Thursday, November 06, 2003
IMAGE OF THE WEEK
The Voyager One spacecraft.
As Darth Swank notes, the spacecraft Voyager One is either leaving the Solar System or is about to do so. The border of the Solar System is generally defined as where the outgoing particles emitted by the Sun are no longer detectable and particles emitted by other stars take over. This border, called the "Heliopause", is roughly where Voyager One is now, although there is scientific disagreement as to whether the ship is actually at the heliopause or is merely approaching it. Anyway, Voyager will soon be in true interstellar space. The trajectories of both Voyager ships can be seen at this site
(And we don't need to worry about Voyager returning after being found by some aliens who can't be bothered to scrub off the name plate all the way. That fate is reserved for Voyager Six, not Voyager One. Also, rumors that Voyager Two discovered Iraqi WMDs stashed in solar orbit high above the plane of the ecliptic are completely unfounded.)