Over the Edge
The solar system exists inside a giant plasma bubble blown out by the solar wind and shaped by its interaction with the surrounding space of the Milky Way galaxy that we call the heliosphere. The bubble shields us from interstellar gas and, to a degree, from the penetrating space radiation known as cosmic rays. In September of 2012 a robotic NASA probe has crossed the boundary of the heliosphere and entered interstellar space. For my fellow space scientists this event is as significant as the first landing of a spacecraft on another planet. I will explain how scientists learn about the shape and properties of the heliosphere from remote observations and how the missing pieces are reconstructed through computer simulations. Exploring such remote regions of space is extremely challenging, not least because the twin Voyager spacecraft are now more than 35 years old and were built with computer technology that was state of the art in the 1970s. Hardware breakdowns and apparent discrepancies between different instruments were the reasons NASA only confirmed the crossing a year an a half later. The Voyagers made a bounty of discoveries while inside the heliosphere, and we expect to learn much more about interstellar space over the next 10 years, until the probes runs out of power. For now, it appears that interstellar space is just really, really quiet.
HAL5 double feature! Space Shuttle history talk featuring David Hitt on "Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986" and Scott Phillips on "Remove before flight. Memoir of a Space Shuttle Team Member". Book sale and signing will follow before and after the talk.
For a second year in a row, HAL5 was awarded the NSS Chapter Excellence Award for Education Outreach. Special thanks to our members, supporters and attendees of our monthly programs to HAL5 one of the most active chapter in NSS! Thank you!
Once again, we are the best chapter in NSS! At the 2011 ISDC in Huntsville, HAL5 was awarded
the NSS Chapter of the Year award for 2010! Thank you, our
members and guests, and HAL5 officers for making this possible.
Would you like to give a talk to HAL5 on subjects related to space,
space exploration, space science, space tourism,
technology, aerospace technologies, planetary defense,
and STEM? If you do, please
Members and general public are welcome to attend the HAL5 Executive Officers' meetings. The Tuesday after our Monthly program, except for holidays, at 6 pm at Newk's on University Drive.
Open to all current HAL5 members. We meet on Mondays from 7 PM to 9:30 PM at Steve's except for holidays and other conflicts. If you are interested, please .