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Voyager 1 spacecraft in our Solar System.


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NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has traveled so far in our Solar System.
NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has traveled so far in our Solar System.

Voyager 1 Enters the Heliosheath.

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has traveled so far in our solar system that it's reached the heliosheath. This is an area just past the termination shock region, where the solar wind crashes into the thin interstellar gas of the galaxy. It was difficult to detect exactly when Voyager 1 passed through the termination shock and into the heliosheath, because we have no data about interstellar space yet, just calculations.

Powerful Flare Shook Up Our Understanding of the Sun.

One of the most intense bursts of solar radiation in more than 50 years happened in mid-January this year, and scientists are still mulling over the implications for current space weather theories. Another interesting aspect of this flare is how quickly it traveled through the solar system. Normally a Proton shower associated with a flare takes several hours to reach the Earth, but we were hit with the first particles in just 15 minutes. This could have important implications for future space weather warning systems, to keep astronauts safe from solar storms.

Cassini Determines the density of Saturn's Rings.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained the most detailed images ever taken of Saturn's rings, including new details about its B ring, of which little was known previously. Cassini went behind Saturn's rings on May 3, 2005, and this gave scientists on Earth a chance to probe the ringst. Cassini sent a series of radio signals as it traveled behind the rings; the weaker the signal, the more dense the material in the rings. This allowed scientists to determine the thickness and size of particles at each point in the rings.

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