Voyager detectors are at the forefront of science, making it the farthest into space from any other man-made object.
Originally sent on a four-year mission to Jupiter and Saturn in 1977, the twin probes exceeded all expectations and are still in progress 45 years later.
Among their achievements are the stunning photos of sunlight they emitted before the cameras closed.
But now, they face a final problem: their power is running out and NASA scientists are starting to put even more instruments on board to save energy.
As they near the end of their mission, here are 18 images from Voyager that changed science:
Voyager probes were designed to visit Jupiter and Saturn.
The Voyager mission consisted of two detectors, the Voyager 1 and the 2, launched in 1977 within a few months of each other.
The launches utilized a rare planetary alignment that allowed them to supercharge their space travel.
They were originally built to last five years, but have exceeded this lifespan many times over.
This is what the Voyager saw in its approach to Jupiter.
Voyager 1 and 2 reached Jupiter in 1979. They took about 50,000 photos of the planet in total, which far exceeded the quality of the photos taken from Earth, according to NASA.
The images taught scientists important facts about the planet’s atmosphere, magnetic forces and geology that would be difficult to decipher otherwise.
Detectives have discovered two new moons orbiting Jupiter: Thebes and Metis.
As well as a thin ring around Jupiter
The detector captured this image as it looked back at the planet illuminated by the Sun.
Voyager 1’s greatest discovery was the volcanic activity on the surface of Jupiter, the moon of Jupiter.
Next station: Saturn
In 1980 and 1981, the probes arrived on Saturn. The passage gave an unprecedented picture of the planet’s ring structure, atmosphere and moons.
Voyager taught scientists the detail of Saturn’s rings, which were printed here in fake color.
Egelados, the moon of Saturn, was seen in unprecedented detail by Voyager.
This photo, taken as the detector flew away, provided a unique view of the planet, allowing us to see the place in the shadows.
By ’86, Voyager 2 had reached Heaven
Voyager 1 went straight ahead and would not encounter another planet on its journey outside the solar system.
But Voyager 2 continued to explore our nearest planets, passing 50,600 miles from Uranus in January 1986.
He discovered two extra rings around Uranus, revealing that the planet had at least 11 and not 9.
His photographs of the largest moons in Uranus revealed their intricate geological past. It also revealed 11 moons they had not seen before.
Here is a picture of a Miranda, the sixth largest moon in Uranus.
Voyager 2 was the first spacecraft to observe Poseidon up close.
In 1989, 12 years after its launch, Voyager 2 flew 3,000 miles from Poseidon.
One image shows the entire blue Neptune.
An image shows the rough surface of the Triton.
He captured Triton, the moon of Poseidon in unprecedented detail.
Another shows the southern hemisphere of Triton.
Occupy the rings of Poseidon.
Here, the crescent shape of Poseidon’s south pole was seen by the Voyager as it departed.
Voyager 2 would never take pictures again. As it would not encounter another planet on its ongoing journey, NASA switched off its cameras after its flight to Poseidon to save energy for other instruments.
Voyager captured 60 images of the solar system from about 4 billion miles away.
As its last photographic queue, Voyager 1 captured 60 images of the solar system from 4 billion miles away in 1990.
He gave us the most distant self-portrait of the Earth, called the “pale blue dot”
This is likely to remain the largest self-portrait in human history for some time, a portrait of the Earth from 4 billion miles away.
Following this image, Voyager 1 cameras were also turned off to save power. It is possible to reactivate the detector cameras, but it is not a priority for sending.
Beyond the solar system
Although crawlers no longer send photos, they have not stopped sending critical information about space.
In 2012, Voyager 1 became the first human instrument to pass through interstellar space, crossing the solstice, the boundary between our solar system and the rest of the universe.
Voyager 2 was the second to cross the line in 2018. It then revealed that there was an extra line around our solar bubble.
Detectors continue to send measurements from interstellar space, such as strange buzzes that most likely come from vibrations made by neighboring stars.
Even after their instruments are switched off, the detectors continue to be sent
Now NASA is starting to turn off the latest rover instruments in hopes of extending their life until the 2030s.
But even when all the instruments are silent, the detectors will continue to drift away carrying the gold file, which could provide critical information to humanity if there is intelligent extraterrestrial life and if it encounters the detectors.
Read the original article in Business Insider