Voyager Question

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clint_dreamer

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Good day. I have been a long time space.com reader, however this is my first venture into the forum. I am liking the level of respect shown to members which is something lacking at other forums like this. I have a question regarding one of my favorite NASA programs that I'm hoping someone can answer for me. According to NASA's Voyager page as of September 1 2008 they were still in contact with both probes. My question is at what point did it become impossible for Voyager to take photos and transmit them back to Earth? Thanks

Clint
 
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clint_dreamer

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Thanks Wayne. That's where I was looking too. Wikipedia wasn't much help. NASA's page indicates that certain instruments have been shutdown over the years to conserve power to keep others running. So I guess that answers my question. Sounds like the last photo taken was 02/14/90 when Voyager 1 turned its camera around at the request of Carl Sagan a Solar System portrait if you will.

Clint
 
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brandbll

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clint_dreamer":2vgdti5z said:
Thanks Wayne. That's where I was looking too. Wikipedia wasn't much help. NASA's page indicates that certain instruments have been shutdown over the years to conserve power to keep others running. So I guess that answers my question. Sounds like the last photo taken was 02/14/90 when Voyager 1 turned its camera around at the request of Carl Sagan a Solar System portrait if you will.

Clint
That's the last picture i can remember(although only through looking through Voyager pictures since i was only 6 at the time that picture took place). That makes the most sense too when you think about it. The last set of pictures probably would have been of Neptune and then yes it took what you called the" Solar System Portrait" picture.

Here's a quote from another website:

When its mission was complete, Voyager 1 remained rather quiet until its cameras were turned back on in early 1990 to take pictures of our solar system. Voyager 1 took some 60 pictures of the Sun and 6 of the planets, the first shots ever taken from "outside" our Solar System. Capturing shots of the Sun, Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune was the last of Voyager's tasks and the cameras were once again turned off.
http://lasp.colorado.edu/education/oute ... yagers.php

So looks like you were correct. Glad to have you on board the forum!
 
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dragon04

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Specifically, not knowing the power requirements for the cameras, it's hard to say when (or if) "impossible" occurred. The plan is for the Voyagers (in particular Voyager 1) to get as far as possible and hopefully to reach the Heliopause, hopefully cross into Interstellar space and report back with all available data before its power supply dies and it runs out of thruster fuel sometime around the year 2020.

By then, the Voyagers will have been flying a 43 year long mission. The Voyagers have sort of been the missions on my life.

They launched in 1977 when I was 16. Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter on my 18th birthday in 1979. The last time I saw my Uncle George (he lives in California) was when Voyager 2 had its Neptune encounter in 1989.

In my 48+ years, I've been alive twice as long with the Voyagers as without them. 16 pre-Voyager years and 32 post-Voyager years.

Here's a link to Voyager's NASA/JPL Web Site
 
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CalliArcale

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clint_dreamer":whqqmqea said:
Thanks Wayne. That's where I was looking too. Wikipedia wasn't much help. NASA's page indicates that certain instruments have been shutdown over the years to conserve power to keep others running. So I guess that answers my question. Sounds like the last photo taken was 02/14/90 when Voyager 1 turned its camera around at the request of Carl Sagan a Solar System portrait if you will.

Clint
Correct, that is the last time an actual photo was taken. However, at least one of the Voyagers (can't remember which off the top of my head) was still using its camera since then in a more passive manner. They were using it to look for the faint glow of the bow shock ahead of the Sun's heliopause as it plows through the interstellar medium. That was a few years ago, though, and it's quite likely the camera isn't even doing that anymore.
 
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clint_dreamer

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What do you supposed the view would look like if they turned the camera around again and pointed it back towards the sun now? I know it is probably not possible at this point but I'm just curious
 
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CalliArcale

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Well, click here to see what it looked like in 1990. ;-) That's the full montage of the Voyager 1 Solar System Portrait.

What would it look like now? Well, fainter, for one thing. You probably could not see any of the major planets, considering that even in 1990, Voyager 1 could barely see them. The Sun would be just a very bright star. Otherwise, the constellations would look much as they do from Earth.
 
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