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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Jupiter in all its glory

Jupiter's Great Red

Saturn up close

Jupiter and two satellites

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Io's volcanic plains

An active plume of Loki

Where are you, Voyager 1?

OK, looks like everyone may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves. Earlier today, a spate of stories made the rounds to the effect that NASA's Voyager 1 had left the solar system. Not so fast, said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, who says the "consensus of the Voyager science team" is that Voyager 1 is still making its way through the solar system and has not yet reached interstellar space. However, it's only a matter of time before the craft indeed exits the border region that astronomers call "the magnetic highway." (Astronomers believed the craft reached the magnetic highway region on July 28, 2012. )

This is not the last word on the topic as several papers addressing the dispute over whether Voyager 1 is still in our solar system will be issued by Voyager scientists in coming weeks.

But barring the unexpected, it's only a matter of time before Voyager 1's journey continues deeper into space. At that point, maybe we'll even see more beauties like this spectacular photo of Jupiter taken by Voyager 1 on February 5, 1979. Hopefully.

Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
Jupiter's Great Red Spot enhanced to accentuate variations in the Jovian atmosphere.
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
Voyager 1, which like its sister craft Voyager 2 launched in 1977, now owns the record of being the most distant human-made object, about 11 billion miles from the sun. In this image, you can see an amazing shot Voyager 1 took of Saturn and the shadow of its ring system.
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
Jupiter and two of its moons (Io, left, and Europa).
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
Jupiter's Great Red Spot photographed by Voyager 1 on February 25, 1979, when the spacecraft was 5.7 million miles away.
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
Another look at Io's volcanic plains with volcanic calderas and lava flows visible in the image.
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
An image of Io showing an active plume of Loki.
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
Artist representation of NASA's Voyager 1 as it makes its way through the region in our solar system called the "magnetic highway."
Caption by / Photo by JPL/NASA
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