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On July 28, levels of high-energy cosmic ray particles originating from outside our solar system increased by 5 percent

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft managed to catch the fastest rate of changes on the edge of the solar system. 
 
The Voyager 1 is a NASA space probe that was launched in 1977 to study the outer solar system. It is now in the heliosheath, which is which is the outermost layer of the heliosphere. This area is very turbulent, and acts as the outer layer of the bubble of charged particles that surrounds the sun. 
 
The Voyager 1 has been studying this bubble of charged particles, and in doing so, caught the fastest rate of change in two of three signs of changes expected to occur at this particular area. The three signs of changes are the rate in which levels of high-energy cosmic ray particles increase, the rate in which lower-energy particles decrease, and the direction of the magnetic field. 
 
On July 28, levels of high-energy cosmic ray particles originating from outside our solar system increased by 5 percent. In the last half of that same day, lower-energy particles originating from inside our solar system decreased by half. Three days later, all levels returned to normal. This was the fastest rate of change observed so far. 
 
As far as the direction of the magnetic field goes, the data needs to be analyzed to determine if this occurred or not. These results should be available next month. 
 
This is all crucial information as Voyager 1 attempts to cross into interstellar space. NASA expects this to occur, but it does not know when. When this does happen, Voyager 1 will be the first manmade spacecraft to exit the solar system and dive into interstellar space. 
 
According to NASA scientists, the levels of lower-energy particles will drop to zero before Voyager 1 crosses into interstellar space. 
 
"These are thrilling times for the Voyager team as we try to understand the quickening pace of changes as Voyager 1 approaches the edge of interstellar space," said Edward Stone. Voyager 1 project scientist from the California Institute of Technology. "We are certainly in a new region at the edge of the solar system where things are changing rapidly. But we are not yet able to say that Voyager 1 has entered interstellar space."
 

 

Source: Science Daily



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RE: Chills!
By MrBlastman on 8/8/2012 11:27:11 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.


--Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot.

http://files.pgdeshmukh.webnode.com/200000856-2bd1...


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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