Voyagers’ 40 Year Eternal Mission

On the 20th of August 1977 it started – Voyager 2 was launched. Then on the 5th of September the twin spacecraft Voyager 1 was launched. Despite being the second to be launched Voyager 1 was names number one as it would arrive at it’s destinations before it’s sister craft.

Voyager Timeline

Jupiter

On the 5th March 1979 and the 7th of July 1979 respectively they arrived at their first destination. For the first time we could see Jupiter and it’s moons in high quality. Even though they only flew past they found Volcanoes on Io, Jupiter’s rings, Europa’s ice cracked surface and more moons to add to it’s already large number.

wp-1504725033894.

 

 

Io

 


 

Saturn

After this they both went on to Saturn, Arriving on the 12th of November 1980 and August the 25th 1981 respectively.

 

saturn voy 2

saturn voy 1

They found a frozen world, which much like Jupiter had storms, we saw the rings of this world in more detail than ever before and it’s largest moon, Titan was found to have a thick atmosphere.wp-1504725033753.

At this point Voyager 1 was flung from the solar system by Saturn’s gravity, Voyager 2 continued the mission to the last of the outer planets alone.


 

Uranus

So far every planet had it’s surprises, and Uranus was no exception. On the 24th of January Voyager 2 made it’s lonely flyby and a planet that was almost completely featureless. Magnetic instruments found it was like the planet had been knocked on it’s side, both the rings and the planets magnetic field were side on to the other planets.

 

 

Miranda, one of it’s moons had a crazy mashed up surface, broken up by gravitational pulling. Voyager 2 added more moons to the planets number.


 

Neptune

On the 25th August 1989 Voyager 2’s final visit in our solar system had finally been reached.

Neptune1

Neptune was again a very different world, made mostly of Methane this beautiful blue world showed off the great black spot – a storm that looked like an eye looking out at you. With Winds faster than the speed of sound this was not all Neptune revealed.

Neptune’s largest moon Triton was found to have active ice volcanoes, introducing us to the concept of cryo volcanism. Voyager found some faint rings and more moons for the blue giant.


 

After Neptune, there wasn’t much or the Voyager probes to do, February 1999 Voyager 1 took a last look back at the solar system and the planet from where it came and took a last picture – a portrait of the solar system.

Voyage Portrait

In 1999, Voyager 1 passed Pioneer 10, becoming the furthest man made object in space.

In 2004 and 2007 respectively the spacecraft encountered the terminator shock as they left the solar system and entered interstellar space. They are now on their way to the stars. Carrying with them records and messages from humanity from who or whatever might encounter them.

Despite being launch 40 years ago their mission may never end, ambassadors to eternity to the species that made and launched them hoping to make their mark in the universe. If left alone these two incredible machines will outlive not only the race that made them, but also the planet from where they came.

Now that it truly incredible.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on images Credit to NASA and JPL.

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24 thoughts on “Voyagers’ 40 Year Eternal Mission”

  1. Oooh Voyager! I’m being stupid and commenting before reading, but the fact is I have class in 15 min…I’ll come back to this later! Definitely been curious about how our favorite spacecraft is doing…also I have NO idea why I’m not caught up on most space news.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa is that Europa there with the weird yellowy colors? I confess that I have never seen an image like that before. I feel like I’m one of those people who haven’t looked through a telescope before and see Saturn for the first time at an astronomy outreach event. Hardly that new a sight, but to some people…

    Also oh my god look at the shadow of Saturn’s rings on the planet…took me a moment to figure out what I was looking at, but wow! Our great ringed planet never fails to amaze me…

    OMG is that one photo Saturn from the night side? That is the coolest picture ever…

    Ok I was at least aware that Uranus got knocked on its side somehow. That part wasn’t news to me. It’s still a cool fact though, I hope one day to find out why that happened. Do you know if the scientific higher-ups have any solid ideas?

    Miranda really does look a little worse for wear. I had no idea gravitational forces could do that. But yeah, I suppose they could wreak havoc on a planet’s crust…I mean, just look at our Earth, and that’s a natural and comparatively “gentle” phenomenon. (I would point out that our entire existence is born out of chaos and continues in chaos, that’s why entropy is so unavoidable, but I’m not even going to get into that in the comments…I could write a whole post on it.)

    That image, the portrait of our solar system, sends literal shivers down my spine. We look so small. Tiny blue planet suspended in a dust beam…and yet somehow we manage to get caught up in all kinds of crazy stuff down on Earth. If only people would realize we’re really all clinging for life to a tiny rock that’s hurtling through an enormous universe…

    Okay. The terminator shock thing. What even is that? I’m looking it up…I had no idea there was a difference between the “space” of the solar system and the “space” of interstellar space. I mean, it’s more that they’re exiting the sun’s influence, not really “entering” anything, right? Because the next thing for them to come across is 4.2 light-years away and I don’t think they’ve traveled that far…

    Also, note on Voyager leaving the solar system…ever watched the first Star Trek movie, the one with V-Ger? (Horrible movie, I have no idea how the Star Trek crew managed to produce a couple more motion pictures after that…) But honestly. I love how sci-fi took a real-life space probe and turned it into an interstellar mystery.

    Okay, that was a long comment. Apparently that’s what happens when I actually read space blog stuff. My attention span is disappointingly short these days but I will strive to read more of your posts, I think you’re quickly climbing up the ranks of my favorite blogs at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol… I can’t answer all of that in a short post, but the yellowy moon was Io.
      As for the rest, there is so much going on that we can’t know it all.
      I saw ST the motion picture and the climax was a let down to say the least lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The part I don’t get is Spock all of a sudden stealing a space suit and going out to see V-Ger without informing his captain. It’s all, “hey, there’s an EVA suit missing…” “Oh my god, it’s Spock’s! What’s he doing out there?” Meanwhile I’m just thinking, Spock would never do that. It’s illogical to not even suggest his idea of an EVA to his captain first. It breaks protocol. That movie is just bad on so many levels…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Incredible! I so enjoyed this, and I love any excuse to look at those pics from Voyager again. Some of them are REALLY familiar, because I traced over them from a library book and put them in a school project about the Solar System! It’s awesome to think there’s a little bit of humanity out there somewhere, and that it will outlive us all…

    Liked by 1 person

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