Latest Voyager 2 Stories

2010-06-29 09:55:00

NASA's plucky Voyager 2 spacecraft hit a long-haul operations milestone June 28 -- operating continuously for 12,000 days. For nearly 33 years, the venerable spacecraft has been returning data about the giant outer planets, and the characteristics and interaction of solar wind between and beyond the planets. Among its many findings, Voyager 2 discovered Neptune's Great Dark Spot and its 450-meter-per-second (1,000-mph) winds. The two Voyager spacecraft have been the longest continuously...

2010-05-07 08:35:00

Engineers have shifted NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft into a mode that transmits only spacecraft health and status data while they diagnose an unexpected change in the pattern of returning data. Preliminary engineering data received on May 1 show the spacecraft is basically healthy, and that the source of the issue is the flight data system, which is responsible for formatting the data to send back to Earth. The change in the data return pattern has prevented mission managers from decoding...

2010-04-07 06:35:00

According to the first ever infrared analysis of the atmosphere of Neptune's moon Triton, summer is in full swing in its southern hemisphere. The European observing team used ESO's Very Large Telescope and discovered carbon monoxide and made the first ground-based detection of methane in Triton's thin atmosphere. These observations revealed that the thin atmosphere varies seasonally, thickening when warmed. "We have found real evidence that the Sun still makes its presence felt on Triton,...

2010-02-13 20:30:00

Twenty years ago on February 14, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft had sailed beyond the outermost planet in our solar system and turned its camera inward to snap a series of final images that would be its parting valentine to the string of planets it called home. Mercury was too close to the sun to see, Mars showed only a thin crescent of sunlight, and Pluto was too dim, but Voyager was able to capture cameos of Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth and Venus from its unique vantage point. These...

2009-12-23 13:41:57

The solar system is passing through an interstellar cloud that physics says should not exist. In the Dec. 24th issue of Nature, a team of scientists reveal how NASA's Voyager spacecraft have solved the mystery. "Using data from Voyager, we have discovered a strong magnetic field just outside the solar system," explains lead author Merav Opher, a NASA Heliophysics Guest Investigator from George Mason University. "This magnetic field holds the interstellar cloud together and solves the...

2008-10-20 14:45:00

NASA is sending a small spacecraft on a two-year mission that will give scientists their first view of the outermost reaches of our solar system.The Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, satellite launched into high-Earth orbit on Sunday from a site at Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific, where it will study a chaotic region in space where the solar wind from the sun clashes with cold gases from interstellar space.The solar wind, a stream of electrically conducting gas continuously moving...

2008-10-06 13:35:00

The first NASA spacecraft to image and map the dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space is ready for launch Oct. 19. The two-year mission will begin from the Kwajalein Atoll, a part of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Called the Interstellar Boundary Explorer or IBEX, the spacecraft will conduct extremely high-altitude orbits above Earth to investigate and capture images of processes taking place at the farthest reaches of the...

2008-07-02 15:05:00

San Francisco, CA. - NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has followed its twin Voyager 1 into the solar system's final frontier, a vast region at the edge of our solar system where the solar wind runs up against the thin gas between the stars. However, Voyager 2 took a different path, entering this region, called the heliosheath, on August 30, 2007. Because Voyager 2 crossed the heliosheath boundary, called the solar wind termination shock, about 10 billion miles away from Voyager 1 and almost a...

2008-07-02 13:50:00

GREENBELT, Md. -- NASA's sun-focused Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, twin spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year. This helped scientists map the energized particles where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium. The two STEREO spacecraft were launched in 2006 into Earth's orbit around the sun to obtain stereo pictures of the sun's surface and measure magnetic fields and ion fluxes associated with solar...

2007-12-11 09:04:16

SAN FRANCISCO--New observations from the edge of our solar system show what scientists have suspected for several years: The solar system is squashed. The edge of the solar system is roughly where the solar wind runs up against thin gas found between the stars in the rest of the Milky Way. This "wind," actually a thin gas of electrically charged particles, blows outward in all directions from the sun at between 1 million and 2 million mph, forming a bubble called the...

Latest Voyager 2 Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planetary Ring -- A planetary ring is a ring of dust and other small particles orbiting around a planet in a flat disc-shaped region. The most spectacular and famous planetary rings are those around Saturn, but all four of the solar system's gas giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) possess ring systems of their own. The origin of planetary rings is not precisely known, but they are thought to be unstable and dissipate over the course of tens or hundreds of millions of...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Triton -- Triton is the planet Neptune's largest moon, discovered by William Lassell in 1846 just 17 days after the planet itself was discovered. It is named after Triton, from Greek mythology. Triton is unique among all large moons in the solar system for its retrograde orbit around the planet (i.e., it orbits in a direction opposite to the planet's rotation). Jupiter's moons Ananke, Carme, Pasiphae and Sinope and Saturn's moon Phoebe also orbit retrograde, but all of them...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Larissa -- Larissa is the fifth of Neptune's known moons. It was discovered by Harold Reitsema based on ground-based stellar occultation observations, and was photographed by Voyager 2 in 1989. Larissa is irregular (non-spherical) in shape and appears to be heavily cratered, with no sign of any geological modification. Little else is known about it. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to tidal forces and will one day break up...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Galatea -- Galatea is the fourth known moon of Neptune, named after the the Nereid of Greek legend. It was discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2 and very little is known about it. It is irregularly shaped and shows no sign of any geological modification. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to tidal forces and will one day break up into a planetary ring or impact on Neptune's surface. ----- Discovery Discovered by Voyager 2...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Despina -- Despina is the third known moon of Neptune. It was discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2, and very little is known about it. It is irregularly shaped and shows no sign of any geological modification. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to tidal forces and will one day break up into a planetary ring or impact on Neptune's surface. ----- Discovery Discovered by Voyager 2 Discovered in 1989 Orbital...

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