NASA’S Hubble Space Telescope.. 


NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is creating a road map for the two Voyager spacecraft, that will travel through unexplored territories beyond our solar system, by measuring the material along the probes future trajectories. Even after the Voyagers run out of electrical power and are unable to send back new data, which may happen in about a decade, astronomers can use Hubble observations to characterize the environment of through which these silent ambassadors will glide.

A preliminary analysis of the Hubble observations shows a rich, complex interstellar ecology

,

 

containing multiple clouds of hydrogen laced with other elements. Hubble data, combined 

with the Voyagers, have also provided new insights into how our sun travels through 

interstellar space.

“This is a great opportunity to compare data from in situ measurements of the space 

environment by the Voyager spacecraft and telescopic measurements by Hubble,” said Seth 

Redfield of Wesleyan University in the US.

“The Voyagers are sampling tiny regions as they plow through space at roughly 38,000 miles

 per hour. But we have no idea if these small areas are typical or rare,” said Redfield.

“The Hubble observations give us a broader view because the telescope is looking along a longer and wider path. So Hubble gives context to what each Voyager is passing through,” he said.


The astronomers hope that the Hubble observations will help them characterise the physical properties of the local interstellar medium.


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