Category: General

‘Retire’ the Voyager name

It took 35 years to make the leap, but a plucky lit­tle space­craft has gone where none have gone before; beyond the bounds of the solar sys­tem and into the black between stars. Voy­ager 1 is our first star­ship; the first inter­stel­lar trav­eler. As such, the name Voy­ager should be “retired” from future use to honor the mis­sion and humans who worked to make Voyager’s jour­ney so remarkable.

On Sep­tem­ber 11, 2013, Voy­ager 1 offi­cially sailed through the outer edges of our solar sys­tem on it Inter­stel­lar Mis­sion. After explor­ing the outer plan­ets, Voyager’s pri­mary mis­sion is to explore the edge of the helios­phere; a huge bub­ble of charged par­ti­cles or plasma sur­round­ing the Sun. It popped through that bub­ble some­time in the sum­mer of 2012.

In 1977, Voy­ager 1 launched a cou­ple months behind its sis­ter, Voy­ager 2. It was an excit­ing era of space explo­ration. Sci­en­tists dreamed up a bril­liant mis­sion to take a Grand Tour and dis­cover much about the outer solar sys­tem. Over the next few years, Voy­ager daz­zled us with amaz­ing close-up images and sci­ence of Jupiter and Sat­urn, then Uranus and Neptune.

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Sparkling Hook

NASA/ESA Hub­ble

As if wait­ing for cos­mic fish, this hook-shaped galaxy sparkles in a deep image from the NASA/ESA Hub­ble Space Tele­scope. Or per­haps you’ve turned your head and you see a galac­tic smile.

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Loops of Stars

NASA/ESA Hub­ble

A sparkling pink and pur­ple loop floats in a sea of galax­ies in this image from the NASA/ESA Hub­ble Space Telescope.

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Spiral in a glittering galaxy

NASA/ESA Hub­ble

A spi­ral galaxy peeps through a sparkling array of stars in this image of ESO 318–13 from the NASA/ESA Hub­ble Space Telescope.

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Ringing a Bulls-Eye

NASA/ESA Hub­ble

A galac­tic bulls-eye ringed with pink neb­u­lae is the only evi­dence of a rare galac­tic col­li­sion of NGC 922 that occurred mil­lions of years ago.

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Welcome

The ancient peo­ples saw pic­tures in the sky. From those pat­terns in the heav­ens, ancient sto­ry­tellers cre­ated leg­ends about heroes, maid­ens, drag­ons, bears, cen­taurs, dogs and myth­i­cal crea­tures…
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