Astro-Chat: Voyagers 1 and 2: Where are they now?

an astro-chat with

Professor Don Kurtz

Visiting Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Lincoln, UK

Friday, 28 October 2022

7:00-8:00 pm

Live online

Book a place

Back in 1965 scientists working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California were studying the orbits of the planets around the Sun and thinking about sending space missions to the outer Solar System. They found that there was an upcoming arrangement of the planets that would allow spacecraft launched in 1977 to fly to Jupiter, then be flung by Jupiter’s gravity to Saturn, by Saturn’s gravity to Uranus, and by Uranus’s gravity to Neptune and out into interstellar space.  They called it the “Grand Tour”. The chance only happens once every 175 years. For the JPL scientists and engineers, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Amazingly, 45 years later, Voyager 1 is now in interstellar space over 23.5 billion km from the Earth and Sun, yet it is still possible for JPL to receive communications from the tiny 23-Watt  transmitters onboard. This AstroChat will look at what the Voyagers accomplished, what they are doing now, and what their ultimate fate is out among the stars.

This is our 12th Astro-Chat with our distinguished guest Professor Don Kurtz. The session will include a brief illustrated introduction followed by questions and answers. Members of the public will be able to ask questions in the live-chat. The event is hosted by Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, Head of the School of Maths & Physics at the University of Lincoln, UK.

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