The Allen Telescope Array in California detected sign from the Voyager 1 probe, the NASA satellite launched 45 yr in the past that’s at present rushing towards the outer edges of the solar system, means past the orbit of Pluto.
Allen Telescope Array (ATA), a just lately refurbished radio observatory close to San Francisco in California devoted to the seek for extraterrestrial life, made contact with the Voyager 1 probe on July 9, utilizing 20 of its 42 dish antennas, that are every over 20 ft (6.1 meters) huge. The telescope recorded quarter-hour of information, in keeping with a statement (opens in new tab), which had been saved on a disk.
“The detection of Voyager 1, the farthest human-made object, with the refurbished Allen Telescope Array is an excellent display of the telescope’s capabilities and strengths, and a representation of the outstanding hard work put by the ATA team since the start of the refurbishment program in 2019,” the staff stated within the assertion.
The assertion did not present any further details about the sign it caught. NASA has been investigating an odd glitch that has induced Voyager 1 to ship again nonsense information about its location in space. NASA first reported the glitch in May, though it has not specified when the difficulty started. The company is assured the spacecraft is secure as a result of if the gibberish information had been correct, the sign from Voyager 1 would not be correctly pointed towards Earth.
Currently situated about 14.5 billion miles (23.3 billion kilometers) away from Earth, 156 occasions the sun-Earth distance, Voyager 1 remains to be being tracked by NASA’s Deep Space Network, sending a meager 160 bits per second of information again residence. For comparability, a daily residence broadband connection is measured in megabits per second, that’s tens of millions of bits per second.
The spacecraft, which entered what astronomers outline as interstellar space 10 years ago, is measuring properties of the interstellar medium past the sting of the heliosphere, the bubble of plasma created by the sun that surrounds the planets.
Voyager 1 nonetheless has to fly by means of the Oort Cloud, a spherical disc of comets and asteroids on the farthest reaches of the solar system, greater than 200 sun-Earth distances away from the sun.
No spacecraft has ever visited the Oort Cloud and Voyager 1 will take about 300 years to get there. By then, nevertheless, the probe will lengthy be useless because it’s anticipated to expire of gas to energy its methods as early as 2025.