In December 2018, NASA's Voyager 2 aircraft reached the interstate space, following the example of their sister, Voyager 1. Right now, only five aircraft were launched capable of such a big voyage, including Voyager. The remaining three are Pioneers 10 and 11 and the New Horizons. Who will be the next to escape?
This milestone – achieving interstellar space – can be considered as leaving the Sun system by a definite definition. Explain what this implies. In the 1990s, the New York Times reported that Pioneer left the Sun's system when it fluttered along the Neptune's orbit. However, Voyager 2 scientists did not decide. Instead, newer measurements consider that the transition of solar radiation, the theoretical boundary of his heliosphere, is the deciding factor for entering the interstellar space. The heliosphere is a bubble of charged particles created and running through the sun. Scientists use it to indicate where interstellar space begins.
But the heliosphere is inconvenient and changes along with the 22-year solar sunshine, shrinking and shining with the sun's wind, stretching behind the sun in the direction of the star travel. This is not something that is easily measured from Earth. NASA's Mission Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) works on remote defining bubble edges. (Heliosphere is a bubble; heliopause is its edge.) [What’s Next for NASA’s Voyager 2 in Interstellar Space?]
Watching the Voyager probe suggests that they have blown this bubble. However, since researchers think the sun is also surrounded by the Oort cloud, the ice bodies region estimated to range from 1,000 to 100,000 astronomical units – far beyond helioplanes – Voyager probes can not be considered completely outside the solar system. (One astronomical unit, or AU, is the distance between Earth and the Sun – 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers).
When Voyager 1 and 2 crossed the heliopath, their instruments still operating revealed historical events. The heliosphere acts as a shield, guarding many particles of more energy generated by cosmic rays produced by other stars. By tracking and low energy particles inside the solar system and high-energy particles outside it, the instruments could uncover sudden rise of cosmic rays warning scientists that the aircraft had left the Sun's system.
So, which spacecraft will be the next to navigate the interstate?
Filling the details
The variable nature of heliosphere prevents Pioneer 10 and 11 from entering interstellar space. Actually, it is possible that one of them is already.
According to NASA's "Beyond Earth: Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration" e-book, November 5, 2017, Pioneer 10 was about 118,824 AUs from the Earth, away from any vessel other than Voyager 1. However, while Pioneer 11 and Gendarmes from Voyager have gone in the direction of the obvious Sun travel, Pioneer 10 moves towards the support side. According to a 2017 study, heliosphere helix is about 220 AU from the sun. Since Pioneer 10 travels around 2.5 AU per year, Pioneer will need between about 2057 and 40 – to hit a variable limit.
It is estimated that Pioneer 11 was about 97.6 AUs from Earth on November 5, 2017, according to the same e-book. Unlike his twin, the aircraft travels roughly in the same direction as Voyager. Voyager 2 has moved into the interstellar media at about 120 AU. Since Pioneer 11 travels at 2.3 AU / year, it should move to the interstate space for another decade, around 2027 – assuming the limit does not change, which is likely to be.
What about the latest fighters among the three, the New Horizons? On January 1, 2019, the spacecraft has made the latest solar system layout, and was launched much later than the other four. During his flight, New Horizons had 43 AUs of sunshine. Alan Stern, the chief investigator of the mission, told Space.com that the aircraft traveled around 3.1 AU each year, or 31 AU in a decade. For another 20 years, the spacecraft has a decent chance of moving to the interstellar space. If the New Horizons crossed to the same boundary of Voyager 2 (it will not, but will only consider the basic line), the journey would have passed in less than 24 years, in 2043. But it is possible that the ISM line will move inward, which will enable the transition sooner. [NASA’s 10 Greatest Science Missions]
Although we will not get a direct confirmation of the transition of helioplanes to Pioneer's spacecraft, it is possible that New Horizons will continue to work and provide a detailed study of interstellar space. Particle detectors they carry are far more powerful than those found on Voyager, Stern said. In addition, New Horizons carries a dust detector that will provide insight into the area beyond the heliosphere.
"Putting the dust detector into interstellar media would be a very valuable experience," he said.
But it will be narrow or will continue to work. According to Stern, power is a limiting factor. New Horizons flees from plutonium plutonium dioxide. At present, the spacecraft has enough power to operate by the end of the 2030s, Stern said, and is currently in good working order.
If the ever-changing heliosphere stays static – which is an incredible event – Pioneer 11 will be the next to pass heliopulus in 2027, followed by New Horizons 2043, coming out of heliosphere in 2057. This again implies an extremely unrealistic possibility of heliopathy remaining static for the next 40 years.
Creates a passage
If you are interested in when the aircraft will "pass" in distance racing, David Cranor has calculated the numbers in his blog, Nothing More Powerful. Cranor, who works in the space industry, has never worked on any of the five missions. To be clear, spaceships travel to different roads, so they will not pass each other as if they were traveling by road. Instead, what is the farthest and closest Earth will change over time.
"I've always been really interested in Voyager and pioneers, and I'm just curious when they go along with each other when some article says that New Horizons are going faster than a pioneer," Cranor told Space.com.
Working with limited data, he discovered that Voyager 1 had crossed Pioneer 11 between 1982 and 1983. He estimated that Voyager 2 had crossed Pioneer 11 around March 1988, although speed and direction changes suggested that it was probably before.
Since the Pioneer 10 and 11 transition to New Horizons so far has been in both cases, Cranor has warned that numbers will have a much bigger mistake. However, using the speeds that the vessel traveled from December 2017, he calculated that New Horizons would pass Pioneer 11 in 2113 and that he would not pass Pioneer 10 to 2187.
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