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Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

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Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby rabble » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:01 pm

Actually it left on August 25, 2012..

Radiation readings changed drastically that day, indicating it's outside the sun's radiation bubble and is now reading galactic cosmic rays at about twice the previous levels.

Speculation now is whether it is truly outside the system or has entered a previously unknown outer system region.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby chainsawcurtis » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:22 pm

And it's on it's way to becoming V'jer.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:42 pm

A good (and probably used) threshold for a sci-fi movie. Once it has passed the threshold that a species capable of interstellar travel has determined is outside the solar system, it triggers a good/bad chain of events.

I have never assumed being found by a more advanced civilization would result in a better fate for us than Native Americans had. Better we just STFU until we have a better idea of what's out there.

Babes in the woods, we are.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Mean Scenester » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:18 am

Gotta go somehow. Alien invasion and ensuing holocaust is waaay cooler than just getting hit by a big dumb rock*.


* Not to mention almost infinitely less likely. (Translation: If you're really worried about planetary extinction, you need to get your fuckin' priorities straight.)
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:54 am

There's still time left to decide if you want to worry or not anyway, as Voyager has not actually left the solar system yet. Or, maybe it has after all, since "[t]he definition of where the solar system ends ultimately comes down to semantics." Still and all, I think this leg of the Voyager's journey is pretty fucking awesome. Little impresses me more than the success of our space probes so long after their original missions have come to an end. And don't forget, there's a Chuck Berry record on board that craft, and that's just plain fucking cool.

As for the notion that alerting aliens to our existence could spell our doom, I've never found that particular fear very convincing (even when smart guys like Stephen Hawking are floating it.) Given the vastness of the universe, resources aren't exactly scarce, so there's no real parallel between, say, European global expansion at the expense of natives and alien invasion. Given the choice between conquering an inhabited world and simply finding the same resources on an uninhabited one, I can't imagine why anyone would choose the former. I think it's reasonable to assume that any civilization suitably advanced enough to send miltary ships across interstellar space to destroy and enslave us certainly could get what they wanted cheaper and easier elsewhere. To assume Earth harbors anything so rare and desirable that a space-faring civilization would bother fucking with us violates The Copernican Principle, which basically says there ain't nothin' special about our little patch of the cosmos.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby rabble » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:10 pm

That was such a good post I'm not even going to mention my own mention of the semantics speculation in the original post.

L Ron Hubbard disagreed about the scarcity of resources in Battlefield Earth, in which the aliens found Voyager full of rare and exotic metals, technological proof that we were a soft target and nice easy to follow directions to our planet.

But he had quite a few character flaws so I'm inclined to go with the "not much to see here" theory. Except for the scheduled destruction of the planet to make way for the hyperspace bypass thing.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:23 pm

It's our radio and TV transmissions, a sphere expanding outward at the speed of light, that really send the message: "Ripe for the Plucking".
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby mifflander » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:53 pm

Dust Mite Rodeo wrote:It's our radio and TV transmissions, a sphere expanding outward at the speed of light, that really send the message: "Ripe for the Plucking".


More like, " ...and they have fucking nukes, too?" We'd be seen as the local street crazy for this corner of the galaxy. Cross to the other side when you see us coming and don't make direct eye contact. As unpredictable as we are unstable.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Madcity Expat » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:09 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote: As for the notion that alerting aliens to our existence could spell our doom, I've never found that particular fear very convincing...I think it's reasonable to assume that any civilization suitably advanced enough to send miltary ships across interstellar space to destroy and enslave us certainly could get what they wanted cheaper and easier elsewhere. To assume Earth harbors anything so rare and desirable that a space-faring civilization would bother fucking with us violates The Copernican Principle, which basically says there ain't nothin' special about our little patch of the cosmos.


I agree on the extreme unlikelihood of such an event (because of the daunting physics of space travel, if nothing else). However I think it's important to point out that economic motives may not be the only motives for an invasion/conquest.

(Of course) we know nothing about an alien species value system, religious culture, ideological framework, etc. They could be operating on ideas broadly familiar to us, or beyond our current imagination. I suppose that depends on if intelligent culture operates on a principle like biological convergent evolution.

But anyway - what if a technologically developed aliens species is motivated not by a search for resources, but instead by some cultural priority that compels them to interact with, influence, and/or dominate other species?
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:32 am

Madcity Expat wrote:what if a technologically developed aliens species is motivated not by a search for resources, but instead by some cultural priority that compels them to interact with, influence, and/or dominate other species?
Certainly possible. But if I'm going to imagine aliens acting in ways unlike anything we see on Earth, I'd just as soon imagine ones who feel compelled to seek out other species because they feel compelled to help and enlighten them.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Detritus » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:46 pm

Image
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby rabble » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:32 pm

Christian Science Monitor says the next radiation shift will really be the one where it leaves the solar system. Probably.

Dammit. It's probably only ALMOST out of the solar system, and is just pretending to be outside in a vain attempt to get attention.
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby rabble » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:09 pm

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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:21 pm


Hooray for Voyager!

Some more interesting tidbits not mentioned in the article:
It does say that Voyager will "emerge from the Oort Cloud in 14,000 to 28,000 years", but it fails to mention that it should first reach it (nobody really knows where it starts and ends, as it cannot be observed) in a mere 300 years (which should give you some idea both of how slow Voyager is moving, relative to the distances involved, as well as just how enormous the Oort Cloud likely is.)
Also, although Voyager is set to lose its gyroscopic operations in 2016, meaning communication between Voyager and Earth will become much more difficult, the probe is expected to continue collecting data until 2020. By 2030, it will likely have run out of power completely, but it can still serve as an ambassador to other worlds if anyone ever actually found the thing (unlikely in the vastness of space, but a Wagstaff can dream, can't he?)
Oh, and in about 40,000 years, it should come close (in astronomical terms, anyway) to Gliese 445, the first star it will have encountered in its lonely travels. Space sure is big, ain't it?
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Re: Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:31 pm

In other outer solar system news (since we don't have a space sub-forum), the New Horizons spacecraft just crossed the orbit of Neptune and is almost exactly one year from its closest approach to Pluto, estimated to be on July 14, 2015 at 11:49:59 (6:49:59am CDT).
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