NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft nearly 12 billion miles from Earth is still phoning home from interstellar space, and a new NASA photo captures that radio signal as pale blue speck in a cosmic ocean.
The space agency unveiled the amazing image Voyager 1′s radio signal glow as seen by an array of radio telescopes on Earth earliier this week to celebrate Voyager 1′s arrival in its new interstellar frontier.
The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), a network of radio telescopes operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, spotted the signal of NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft from 11.5 billion miles (18.5 billion kilometers) away. The image was taken on Feb. 21, 2013.
Researchers confirmed Thursday (Sept. 12) that Voyager 1 is officially in interstellar space. The spacecraft, which launched in 1977, became the first ever human-made object to leave our cosmic neighborhood and enter the space between stars. It likely did so on or around Aug. 25, 2012.
Scientists can’t “see” our first interstellar ambassador in the visible spectrum, but they can detect Voyager 1′s signal in radio light.
by Megan Gannon
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