Friday, September 13, 2013

A long voyage

A year ago (and since) I wrote that Voyager 1 may have left the solar system. It has now been confirmed. Of course, one may reject the definition of solar system that's being used here -- Voyager 1 isn't beyond the orbit of the Oort Cloud, a sphere of asteroids and comets that orbit the sun out to about a light year's distance. Still the working definition is a good one, and it's absolutely amazing that a man-made object is now effectively in interstellar space -- and still working.

Some other interesting science news:

1. NASA has identified three asteroids for potential capture. That is, they'll go get them, and bring them into orbit around the Moon. Pretty cool.

2. Biologists have discovered functioning mechanical gears in an insect. Actual cog wheels. This is more than pretty cool. This is mind-boggling.

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