Images from the Voyagers?

  1. Hi.

    A friend of mine, knowing about a probe (actually, 2) going out from the solar system, asked to me if we can still receive images from them.
    I searched for these images on the web, but i did not found them.
    Anyone can suggest to me a link?
    Thanks :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dotini

    Dotini 756
    Gold Member

    Yes, we continue to receive very important and surprising new discoveries from venerable Voyager program data feeds. We are getting a new image of our solar system enclosed in frothy bubbles of magnetism, which mediate entering cosmic rays. New questions are raised about how our system energetically interacts with the interstellar medium. We are still living in the glory days of discovery. Please see the excellent short video from NASA:

    The IBEX and Cassini missions are providing related insights into these discoveries.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  4. Thank you so much for the amazing video.
    However, I would like to see images directly from the probe, I would like to see "as Voyager sees" :)
    For this reason I'm searching for images of the probes...

  5. Dotini

    Dotini 756
    Gold Member

    Here you go:

  6. D H

    Staff: Mentor

    Not in the sense that you think of "images". The imaging system was turned off long ago ago.

    It is an incredible stretch to call that "imagery." The data now coming from the Voyager spacecraft are non-directional, sparse, and coarse. The images of the magnetic froth are essentially artist's rendition (better said: renditions from a computer model).
  7. So, what we receive from the probe?
    Radio data? Or whatelse?
  8. Dotini

    Dotini 756
    Gold Member <---Please see the "Scientific Instrument" section. Below are the instruments listed as active.

    Ultraviolet Spectrometer

    Designed to measure atmospheric properties, and to measure radiation. More

    * Principal investigator: A. Broadfoot / University of Southern California (PDS/PRN website)
    * Data: PDS/PRN data catalog

    Triaxial Fluxgate Magnetometer

    Designed to investigate the magnetic fields of Jupiter and Saturn, the solar-wind interaction with the magnetospheres of these planets, and the interplanetary magnetic field out to the solar wind boundary with the interstellar magnetic field and beyond, if crossed. More

    * Principal investigator: Norman Ness / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (website)
    * Data: PDS/PPI data catalog, NSSDC data archive

    Low Energy Charged Particle Instrument

    Measures the differential in energy fluxes and angular distributions of ions, electrons and the differential in energy ion composition. More

    * Principal investigator: Stamatios Krimigis / JHU/APL / University of Maryland (JHU/APL website / UMD website / KU website)
    * Data: UMD data plotting, PDS/PPI data catalog, NSSDC data archive

    Cosmic Ray System

    Determines the origin and acceleration process, life history, and dynamic contribution of interstellar cosmic rays, the nucleosynthesis of elements in cosmic-ray sources, the behavior of cosmic rays in the interplanetary medium, and the trapped planetary energetic-particle environment. More

    * Principal investigator: Edward Stone / CalTech / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (website)
    * Data: PDS/PPI data catalog, NSSDC data archive

    Plasma Wave System

    Provides continuous, sheath-independent measurements of the electron-density profiles at Jupiter and Saturn as well as basic information on local wave-particle interaction, useful in studying the magnetospheres. More

    * Principal investigator: Donald Gurnett / University of Iowa (website)
    * Data: PDS/PPI data catalog

    Respectfully submitted,
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  9. D H

    Staff: Mentor

    That's Wikipedia for ya'. The Voyager 2 UVS was turned off in 1998, and the Voyager 1 UVS was turned off in 2010.
  10. D H - perhaps you can go update Wikipedia. After all, no one at NASA/JPL is being payed to update articles on website external to the agency!

    With regard to the original question, I recall reading that the software for processing the Voyager images ran on PDP-11 computers, which were quite elderly even by the 1990 time-frame. So the final imaging was done by Voyager 1 in 1990 - a portrait of our solar system, a suggestion from Carl Sagan. An astounding feat - a view of our tiny niche (gargantuan though it seems to us) in space from the outside! See

    There's now little for the Voyagers to view at their current positions, so far from the inner solar system. Really only views of the starfields of our galaxy. Though I've always wondered if images of stars could be used for parallax measurements, and thus establish/check the distances to nearby stars via simple geometry (assuming that the geometry of space over these astronomical distances is indeed Euclidean). See

    Michael Doyle
  11. D H

    Staff: Mentor

    No thanks. This site already takes up a lot of my spare time. Too much, if you ask my wife. There'd be a minor rebellion if I became a wikipedian to boot. Besides, I don't quite agree with the underlying philosophy.

    DEC built and continually upgraded the PDP-11 family from 1970 to 1990. JPL may well have updated hardware somewhere along the line. On the other hand, why bother? The greatest data processing demands occurred during the Jupiter and Saturn fly-bys. While JPL may have updated from one PDP-11 to another, changing to a different architecture was a different story back then. Their software worked, why change?

    Shoot, there's a lab in JSC that still has working PDP-11s. Plus some excess PDP-11s used solely for spares. For whatever reason, they just don't want to upgrade. Their software works; why change? The funny thing: Just a few feet away from that dinosaur pit are several racks of blades!
  12. As quite a senior technical analyst for a tehnical support company I can think of quite a few reasons they will be staying on old architecture!

    Processing power in general now is insane compared to what Nasa had to work with in previous years.

    I have heard it said there is more processing power in a modern smartphone CPU than in the entire Nasa programme in the 60's. A little off-topic bnut just thought I would add a little trivia. :smile:
  13. davenn

    davenn 4,369
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    Actually 4 probes out of the Solar System, you forgot about Pioneer 's 10 and 11 :)

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?