archiv~1.txt: SETI [ASTRO] Voyager Update - March 3, 1999

SETI [ASTRO] Voyager Update - March 3, 1999

Larry Klaes ( )
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 17:42:23 -0500

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender
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>Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:00:14 GMT
>From: Ron Baalke <>
>Subject: [ASTRO] Voyager Update - March 3, 1999
>Reply-To: Ron Baalke <>
>PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
> Voyager Mission Status
> March 3, 1999
> Both Voyager spacecraft remain healthy and are continuing to
>explore the environment at the edge of the solar system, sending
>back data on particles, waves and fields from the far outer
>heliosphere, the outermost region of the Sun's influence.
> Instruments no longer collecting data and nonessential
>heaters on Voyager 2's scan platform were turned off in November
>1998 as part of an effort to conserve electrical power margins
>and extend the spacecraft's lifetime well into the 21st century.
>Five instruments continue to gather and return data. Now 8.6
>billion kilometers (5.3 billion miles) from Earth, the spacecraft
>is heading southward out of the ecliptic plane at a 48-degree
>angle, traveling at a speed of about 16 kilometers per second
>(about 35,500 mph). Currently, round-trip light time from Earth
>to Voyager 2 is about 16 hours.
> The ultraviolet spectrometer on Voyager 1's scan platform
>and nonessential heaters will be turned off in mid-2000 to
>conserve power. Distinguished from all other spacecraft as the
>most distant human-made satellite in space, Voyager 1 is now
>about 10.9 billion kilometers (6.8 billion miles) from Earth, and
>climbing northward out of Earth's vicinity at a 35-degree angle
>to the ecliptic plane. The spacecraft is traveling at a speed of
>about 17.3 kilometers per second (38,718 mph) with a current
>round-trip light time of about 20 hours.
> If the spacecraft's instruments are still operating when it
>reaches the heliopause - the theoretical dividing line between
>our solar system and interstellar space - Voyager 1 should be
>able to detect the change. Current estimates put the termination
>shock, which is like a wave front on the high sea or a boundary
>signifying the last vestiges of space influenced by the solar
>wind, at between 80 and 90 astronomical units from the Sun. (One
>astronomical unit is about 150 million kilometers or 93 million
>miles, Earth's distance from the Sun.) Voyager 1 is currently at
>about 73 astronomical units and expected to reach 80 astronomical
>units in 2001.
> #####