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Computer predicts Voyager 2 milestone

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Riverside, Calif. (UPI) Nov 29, 2007
A U.S. physicist has predicted an expected milestone in the journey of the Voyager 2 spacecraft will occur within the next several weeks.

University of California-Riverside physicist Haruichi Washimi, using a computer model simulation, has predicted when the interplanetary spacecraft will cross the so-called "termination shock" -- a spherical shell around the solar system that marks the point at which the solar wind slows to subsonic speed.

According to Washimi's simulations, the spacecraft will cross the termination shock late this year or early in 2008.

"Washimi's model has predicted the location of a boundary that is approximately 90 times farther from the sun than is the Earth, to within a few percent," said Gary Zank, director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and one of the co-authors of the research paper. "This is truly remarkable given the enormous complexity of the physics involved, the temporal and spatial scales involved, and the variability of the solar wind conditions."

The complex research is detailed in the Dec. 1 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

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Voyager At 30: Looking Beyond And Within
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 07, 2007
A mission that was supposed to last just five years is celebrating its 30th anniversary this fall. Scientists continue to receive data from the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft as they approach interstellar space. The twin craft have become a fixture of pop culture, inspiring novels and playing a central role in television shows, music videos, songs and movies from the 1980s and 1990s. Many of these fictional works focus on what would happen if an alien race were able to locate Earth via Voyager's famous golden records, which include sounds and images of Earth.







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