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By Andrew
Voyager: the space explorers that are still boldly going to the stars

Nasa's two Voyager ships have reached the edge of the solar system – and their incredible 35-year journey is far from over.

Voyager 2 passed Jupiter in 1979. Ten years later, after observing Neptune,
it began its journey out of the solar system. Composite: BBC2

The year 1977 was an important one for music. Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks were released. Elvis left the building for the last time, dying at the age of only 42. But amid all this rock'n'roll history another less celebrated but far more significant album was quietly being made.

Fashioned from copper rather than vinyl, and plated with gold for longevity, The Sounds Of Earth was compiled by the American astronomer Carl Sagan. It was a broader range of music than most of the other albums released that year, aiming to encapsulate 5,000 years of human culture; from an Australian Aborigine song and an Indian raga to Azerbaijani bagpipes, bamboo flutes, Bach, Beethoven and Chuck Berry...

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Source: Guardian Science
Voyager: A space odyssey – in pictures
Wikipedia: Voyager program
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By ChrisS
Really nice and profound article.
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By Andrew
NASA Voyager 1 Encounters New Region in Deep Space


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region at the far reaches of our solar system that scientists feel is the final area the spacecraft has to cross before reaching interstellar space.

Scientists refer to this new region as a magnetic highway for charged particles because our sun's magnetic field lines are connected to interstellar magnetic field lines. This connection allows lower-energy charged particles that originate from inside our heliosphere -- or the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself -- to zoom out and allows higher-energy particles from outside to stream in. Before entering this region, the charged particles bounced around in all directions, as if trapped on local roads inside the heliosphere.

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Source: NASA
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By Andrew
Voyager probe 'leaves Solar System'

The Voyager-1 spacecraft has become the first manmade object to leave the Solar System.

Scientists say the probe's instruments indicate it has moved beyond the bubble of hot gas from our Sun and is now moving in the space between the stars.

Launched in 1977, Voyager was sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going.
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Source: BBC News Science & Environment
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By Andrew
Nasa's Voyager 2 sends back its first signal from interstellar space

Nasa craft is second to travel beyond heliosphere but will give most detailed data yet.


Twelve billion miles (19.3bn km) from Earth, there is an elusive boundary that marks the edge of the sun’s realm and the start of interstellar space. Voyager 2, the longest-running space mission, has finally crossed that frontier 42 years after its launch and beamed back a faint signal from the other side.

The Nasa craft is the second ever to travel beyond the heliosphere, the bubble of supersonic charged particles streaming outwards from the sun. Despite setting off a month ahead of its twin, Voyager 1, it crossed the threshold into interstellar space seven years behind, after taking the scenic route across the solar system and providing what remain the only close-up images of Uranus and Neptune.

Click here to read the rest of the article from The Guardian