Hasta La Vista, Voyagers
Thirty-five years after their launch, the two Voyager deep space probes are about to enter interstellar space, while still transmitting data back to Earth.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1, a little over two weeks after the 35th anniversary of its sister probe Voyager 2. The two unmanned spacecraft, having spent the last five years exploring the outer layer of the heliosphere -- "the giant bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself" -- are now very close to leaving the solar system and entering the vastness of interstellar space. NASA scientists report that both Voyagers are in "great shape" and have enough electricity to last until 2020, after which both probes will slowly be powered down.
What's the Big Idea?
Between now and then, chief scientist Ed Stone (who's been on the Voyager project since the beginning) says that the probes will be able to send back data about the magnetic fields surrounding the heliosphere as well as the cosmic rays that aren't able to penetrate the solar system. Retrieving this data was a specific goal of the project, and it was included in the spacecraft design. On the long way there, though, the Voyagers provided amazingly detailed information about Jupiter and Saturn as well as Uranus and Neptune. Once they have completed their mission and are powered down, Stone says, "They will orbit the center of our galaxy essentially forever."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.
- Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
- The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
- One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.