Voyager 1 : Farthest man made object in Interstaller space
Voyager 1 is a space probe launched on September 5, 1977 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station USA. It is the first space probe to reach interstellar space. It was launched (along with Voyager 2) in 1977 with objective to explore the outer planets in our solar system. Voyager 1 was launched 2 week after its twin, Voyager 2. The probe’s objective was to go close enough to study and record scientific data of Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn‘s largest moon, Titan.
Scientific instruments Installed in Voyager 1
Infrared interferometer spectrometer
Triaxial fluxgate magnetometer
Low-energy charged particles detectors
Cosmic Ray System
Plasma Wave System
Journey of Voyager 1
Flyby of Jupiter
On March 1979 Voyager was closest to Jupiter, when it came within 174,000 miles (349,000 kilometers) from the center of Jupiter. It was the first time we saw active volcano on another planet in the Solar System due to Voyager 1.
In the period of 48 hours due to closer approach and greater photographic resolution , space probe successfully observed and capture the moons, rings, magnetic fields, and the radiation belt environment of Jupiter.
The space probe captured the moons Amalthea, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. It sent us details of their terrain for the first time. The space probe also discovered a thin ring around the Jupiter. (making it the third planet known to have a ring), and two new moons: Thebe and Metis.
Flyby of Saturn
Afer wait of about one year Voyager 1 reached Saturn. The ringed planet was full of surprises for scientist. it’s closest approach was on
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November 12, 1980, when the space probe came within 77000 mi (124,000 kilometers) of Saturn’s cloud-tops. The cameras of voyager 1 detected complex structures in the rings of Saturn.
Voyager 1 found two new moons of Saturn : Prometheus and Pandora. Space probe found that the Titan has very thick atmosphere due to which it hides its surface of Titan from visible-light cameras and telescopes.
The space probe also captured the moons Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, and Rhea and revealed the fine structures of Saturn’s complex and beautiful ring system. It also added the G ring to the list of known rings.
Voyager 1 used Jupiter’s gravity to reach Saturn. And this time Space probe used the gravity of Saturn to increase its speed to give it a trajectory to take it out of the solar system.
Entering interstellar space
All the planetary encounter was finally over in 1989 and the missions of Voyager 1 declared as part of the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), which officially began Jan. 1, 1990.
In August 2012, Voyager 1 became the first space probe to enter into interstellar space. On Feb. 17, 1998, Voyager 1 became the most distant human-made object in existence. At a distance of 69.4 AU (1 astronomical unit (au) = 92,955,807.27 miles ) from the Sun, it overtook Pioneer 10 ( First space probe that completed the mission of planet Jupiter.
At persent Voyager 1 is 22,244,754,212 km (13,822,245,130 miles) away from earth. It is moving at the speed of 62140 km/h to encounter with a star called AC +79 3888, which is at 17.6 light-years from Earth. It will take 40,000 year to reach the star AC +79 3888 ( also known as Gliese 445) .In 2025 Voyager spaceprobe will stop sending signals to earth because of run out of power required for nuclear reactor. The nuclear power sources lose about 4 watts of power a year which will finally stop in 2025.
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Pale Blue dot
On Feb. 14, 1990, camera of Voyager 1 were pointed backward to captured about 60 images of the Sun and planets .It was first “portrait” of our solar system as seen from the outside of our solar system. The images were taken when the Voyager space probe was about 6 billion kilometers ( 3.7 billion miles ) away from the sun.
After taking these images the cameras of space probe were turned off to save power and memory for the interstellar mission.