Monday, October 28, 2013

September 27: Voyager's Venture

The Voyager satellites are currently the furthest man-made objects from Earth.  Launched in 1977, these satellites are now at the edge of our solar system.  In his lecture, PhD student David Hendel took the audience through the story of this highly successful mission, from the initial design of the satellites to their current status past Pluto.  Taking advantage of a unique planetary alignment, David explained how the NASA scientists were able to set the instruments on a Grand Tour, flying by all of the planets on their way out of the solar system.  This tour has produced some of the highest quality images of the planets to date.

After the lecture, bad weather prevented observing.  Yet those who stayed were able to enjoy roof tours, to view our 3D wall or to listen to a description of the moons of our solar system and their naming history.  

-- Lauren Corlies (graduate student)