Voyager 2 is set to cross the Termination Shock either this month or early next year. The termination shock is the point at which the solar winds change dramatically from about a million miles per hour to around 250,000 miles per hour, in other words, little Voyager is leaving home and the effects of our Sun. The Voyager will then be in the Heliosphere, after that intergalactic space. Voyager 2 launched August 20 1977 on a five year mission to explore our planets and their moons, well it is 30 years later and both the Voyager 1 spacecraft, (which by the way reached the Heliosphere back in 2004) and Voyager 2 spacecraft are still in daily contact with the Deep Space Network sending new and unknown information from afar. Voyager 1 is about 10 billion miles from Earth, and it takes 14 hours for information from the spacecraft to reach Earth, Voyager 2 is around 8.0 billion miles from Earth and it's signal takes 11 hours to reach us. Both spacecraft carry with them a message on a gold record just in case aliens decide to pull them over, hopefully friendly aliens, since we gave them the directions to get here.
Just a friendly reminder that the Geminids meteor shower is just a week away, look at the date of this article, did I miss a time warp or something? The above photo was taken by Anna over at My Only Photo. Anna got a good shot last August of a Perseid meteor, awesome shot, check out her other work as well. Anna is my Blackholes and Astrostuff roving reporter out east(unpaid), she has a a cool Story Blob blog you should check out as well. The Geminids will start Thursday December 13th at around 9 pm EST and continue on through the night until Gemini sets in the west early Friday morning. The Geminids are the most reliable of the meteor showers producing around 50 meteors an hour or about one a minute. The Geminids originate from the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. The shower appears to radiate from the Gemini Constellation which will be low in the east around 9pm, as the night progresses Gemini travels to the SE, then the south ,then SW then sets in the west around 10 am EST Friday, bonus, look for Mars, a bright orange object in the constellation as well that night.
Being Christmas time and all I thought I would link to my Buying a Telescope post, it has a lot of good information in it, if your looking to buy a telescope for someone special this year you should find this post useful. Isn't that a nice summery picture above? I decided to go out to my cold backyard and take a picture as it looks now.
I don't usually give names to my photos, but this one I call "WINTER SUCKS"