Voyagers 1 and 2 : into beyond the Universe

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HowTo travel into and beyond the heliosphere :
- uninstall your wheels (👎) and
- speed up to 15,000 kilometers Per Second 👀

Being a fulltime traveller I am living mostly outside, daytimes and nighttimes. Very often the most beautiful sky appeares. I always enjoy Our private Star the Sun, I never have any problem with high temperatures (but with low ones ...).

At nights I can often see all billion million trillion other stars shining above me 👌. Then it is just impossible to not look up there. This once more was the situation every day and night when I stayed in El Alamo, Spain.

So I often prepare my Panasonic FZ1000 to make a nightshift. I replace the battery by a dummybattery (-cable) and connect it to a powerbank. Then I set it up in full manual control. I decide for ie a 200 (or 300 or 400) pictures timelapse session at a 30 seconds or 1 minute interval starting at 01h00 hours.

I click the combination on the (max low) tripod which I then position somewhere it will not be seen 🤞. And turn off the display and viewfinder and cover it with a black shirt to hide the led (but not the lens 😁).

Later I process the startrails pictures and this is one of the the results. A lot of stars pass by are captured while the earth is turning.

However if you create an incremental animation with the same pictures you see this. Although it are the same stars the incremental adding makes clear what is going on there. Does it really ❓

I read an article in the Volkskrant 💯 about the Voyagers 1 and 2 spacecrafts which are still going strong after 40+ years. There Voyages are just beyond imagination. In 2013 Voyager 1 left our solar system after 36 years of flying and Voyager 2 did so in 2018. That article made me create this extra article. Enjoy, and keep on wondering !

Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977.
HowTo travel at 15 kilometers Per Second 👀 ?!

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From NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, the Voyager 2 was launched first, on August 20, 1977. Voyager 1 was launched on a faster, shorter traject on September 5, 1977. Both spacecraft were delivered to space on top of 48 meters heigh Titan-Centaur rockets. But it took menkind some time to get (t)here.

This photoshow is created with screenshots from the film "Telescope" from Discovery Channel.

In the old days it was clear to anyone that earth was the center of the universe. All that was seen up there was hovering around us, no question (should be asked ...) about that.

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However Copernicus (1473 - 1543) noticed that certain elements up there did not fly in a circular path around the earth. But he was so afraid of the almighty catholic church that he did not dare to publish his findings until just before he died.

Remark : so actually nothing has changed in this in the past 500 years. Except that this "almighty" behaviour is far more widely common.

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Then, september 25th, 1608 the German-Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lipperhey (1570 - 1619) showed a "seecker instrument omme verre te sien" (a certain instrument to see far) to Prins Maurits in The Hague.

The demonstration to the Prince was a great success. Maurits was so enthusiastic about the new invention that he even invited (!!!) his Spanish arch-enemy Ambrogio Spinola to attend a demonstration at the Binnenhof (the buildings of the Dutch parlement). Although the Eighty Years' War against Spain was still in full swing.

From the Maurits Tower in the Hague they could see the clock of the church of Delft "on one and a half hours going" (10 kms). And even the stained glass windows of the church of Leiden "on three and a half hours going" (25 kms).

Spinola also saw the military value of the new invention. "From now on I won't be safe anymore" Spinola said, "because you can see me from afar". Maurit's half-brother Frederick Henry reassured him with the words: "We will forbid our people to shoot at you". Those were the days 👌.

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Some 50 years later Galileo (1564 - 1642) heard about the invention of Hans Lipperhey. He builds the very first telescope in just one day and it catched 100x more light then the human eye does. He sees the Milky Way and the moons that were turning around Jupiter.

So earth was not the center of the universe ! Suddenly all became clear : all was turning around the sun, and that theory made understanding the universe far more easy. Copernicus was right !

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In the year 1668 Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727) invented the telescope that uses reflectors instead of lenses. Since then all telescopes use this principle.

These new reflector telescopes made clear that we are flying around in a mighty Universe.

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But with the growing telescopes even objects were discovered that didn't fit in the behaviour of our universe. Was our Universe maybe not the only universe ? Even Albert Einstein had to update his theories to these new findings.

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After WW1 Edwin Hubble (1889 - 1953) went to Mount Wilson to study the universe.

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He found there really were a lot more universes out there.

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In 1990 the Hubble telescope was launched which showed us incredible views into the deep field.

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And in the very near future the James Webb telescope will be launched (2021). It will catch 1,000,000x more light then the human eye does and has a 100x more powerfull view then the Hubble telescope. The James Webb machine is the most special extraordinary piece of engineering of menkind up to now.

If you would upscale it's mirrors to the width of the whole USA, so from California to New York (which is 4312 kms), they would be flat within 8 cms all over that distance. It will be able to see a candlelight at the (our) moon, and even the match that lighted it.

This is shortly the history and story of how menkind is exploring the Universes from Earth.

But is there maybe anybody Out There ?

The prime Voyager mission brought Voyager 1 to Jupiter on March 5, 1979, and to Saturn on November 12, 1980, followed by Voyager 2 to Jupiter on July 9, 1979, and to Saturn on August 25, 1981.

The Voyager spacecrafts are the third and fourth human spacecraft to fly beyond all the planets in our solar system. Pioneers 10 and 11 were the first in outstripping the gravitational attraction of the Sun. But on February 17, 1998, Voyager 1 passed Pioneer 10 to become the most distant human-made object in space.

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Voyager 1's traject, designed to send the spacecraft closely past the large moon Titan and behind Saturn's rings, bent the spacecraft's path inexorably northward out of the ecliptic plane, the plane in which most of the planets orbit the Sun. Voyager 2 was aimed to fly by Saturn at a point that would automatically send the spacecraft in the direction of Uranus.

After Voyager 2's successful Saturn encounter, it was shown that Voyager 2 would likely be able to fly on to Uranus with all instruments operating. NASA provided additional funding to continue operating the two spacecraft and authorized JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to conduct a Uranus flyby. Subsequently, NASA also authorized the Neptune leg of the mission, which was renamed the Voyager Neptune Interstellar Mission.

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Voyager 2 encountered Uranus on January 24, 1986, returning detailed photos and other data of the planet, its moons, magnetic field and dark rings. Voyager 1, meanwhile, continues to press outward, conducting studies of interplanetary space. Eventually, its instruments may be the first of any spacecraft to sense the heliopause, the boundary between the end of the Sun's magnetic influence and the beginning of interstellar space.

Following Voyager 2's closest approach to Neptune on August 25, 1989, the spacecraft flew southward, below the ecliptic plane and also onto a course that will bring it to interstellar space. The project is now known as the Voyager Interstellar Mission.

Voyager 1 has crossed into the heliosphere and is leaving the solar system, at a speed of 520 million kilometers a year. It entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012. Voyager 2 headed out of the solar system in 2018, at a speed of about 470 million kilometers a year.

Just to tickle your brain : 520 million kilometers per year are (520,000.000/365/24/60/60) 16+ kilometers per second ...

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Their engineered 5-year lifetime was first stretched to 12 years and is now already 42 years (2020). The fall of the wall, the Chernobyl disaster, the World Wide Web, the election of Donald Trump and the starting of the climate change* : these are just some historical events that took place while Voyagers 1 and 2 were flying through the solar system Universe. * which actually started at least 60 years ago already.

Both spacecraft will continue to study ultraviolet sources among the stars and all those smaller objects. The instruments will continue to explore the boundary between the Sun's influence and interstellar space.

The Voyagers are expected to return valuable data until about 2025. Communications will be maintained until the Voyagers' power sources can no longer supply enough electrical energy to power critical subsystems.

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The picture that is considered the most impressive one : Earth in the Milky Way galaxy from a distance of 6 billion kilometres.

The next cosmic encounter is planned in 40,000 (earth) years time 👀 👀 👀. While travelling at 15,000 kilometers Per Second. Then Voyager 1 will fly past star Gliese 445, at 17.6 light years from Earth. And even then it's not over. The two Voyager probes are expected to fly through the cosmos for billions of years to come ...

But there is also another aspect about these explorations. Then menkind has more knowledge about the deepspace out there then about the deepseas at Planet Earth. Menkind probably always had the feeling it will have to leave Earth one day. Guess why ...

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Resources : Nasa, Discovery Channel, the Volkskrant, my always wondering, imaginating and dreaming brain and my Panasonic FZ1000 camera.


Update :

At a distance of 18 billion kilometres NASA has got the equipment of the Voyager 2 probe working again.

At the end of January, 2020 Voyager 2 was no longer sending data to Earth. Due to a yet unknown malfunction in the spacecraft's system an emergency system switched off the probe's measuring equipment.

After this, mission personnel had to try to get a device to work that was no longer in the solar system. At this distance it takes about 17 hours to send a signal, so it takes 34+ hours to see if a certain action has the desired effect.

"We have now managed to get the measuring instruments working and the communication from and to Voyager 2 is doing well."

So please don't forget to call your garage to have an appointment for your car 😀.

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