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Tuesday, May 23, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

The space geek in me couldn’t read the follownfg nd not note it: Voyager 2 Detects Odd Shape of Solar System’s Edge.

It just sounds cool:

Voyager 2 could pass beyond the outermost layer of our solar system, called the “termination shock,” sometime within the next year

[...]

Scientists determined that Voyager 1 was approaching the termination shock when it began detecting charged particles that were being pushed back toward the Sun by charged particles coming from outside our solar system. This occurred when Voyager 1 was about 85 AU from the Sun.

One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or 93 million miles.

In contrast, Voyager 2 began detecting returning particles while only 76 AU from the Sun.

[...]

Both Voyager spacecrafts were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida: Voyager 2 headed out on Aug. 20, 1977, Voyager 1 on Sept. 5, 1977.

Currently, Voyager 1 is about 8.7 billion miles from the Sun and traveling at a speed of 3.6 AU per year while Voyager 2 is about 6.5 billion miles away and moving at about 3.3 AU per year.

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One Response to “Voyager 2 Approaches the Temination Shock”

  1. James Joyner Says:

    I was scared for a moment that they were bringing Star Trek: Voyager back…


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