Monday, December 5, 2011

Epic. Just ... epic.

I'm going to use the word epic a lot in this post. I can't bring to mind any other word that accurately describes this. In short, there's a particular type of radiation that we would expect to see coming from areas of the galaxy where stars are being born. No one has been able to confirm it's presence because the radiation from the sun screws everything in the local area of space up. Two space craft were launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and 2. 34 years ago. Not only are the still operational, but there now on the border of the solar system, and the sun is no longer fuzzing things up quite so much. They're taking readings. And confirming the presence of the expected radiation form stellar nurseries. How is that anything but epic?

We don't do epic things very often. Probably because doing something epic requires a lot of time. In this case 40 odd years (they had to plan and build the spacecraft as well). Someone thought about measuring radiation from the birth of stars 40 years ago. And now it's being done. The voyager spacecraft have been on the border of the solar system for a while now (it's a big border), just the fact that we get to look at the galaxy from outside of our solar system is very very cool. And epic.

I sincerely hope that whoever thought of it is still alive today.

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