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Anniversary of the Ulysses, Jupiter flyby in 1992

 

Ulysses Encounter With Jupiter



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Anniversary of the Ulysses space probe launch on the 6th October, 1990.



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Weir in space & dimmed sun creates 200 million mile long lab bench for turbulence research

Physicists working in space plasmas have made clever use of the Ulysses spacecraft and the solar minimum to create a massive virtual lab bench to provide a unique test for the science underlying turbulent flows.
Researchers have an ideal mathematical model of turbulence in fluids (ideal because the model is of an infinitely large flow). They also have been able to measure how such turbulence builds over time by measuring how that turbulent flow of material fluctuates as it crosses or hits a boundary wall in small confined boxes within a lab. However, until now, researchers have not had access to a means of carrying out much more large scale experiments to test the ideal turbulence.

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Light goes out on solar mission
European and US space agencies finally pull the plug on the aging Ulysses spacecraft, which has studied the sun for 18 years.
Final communication with the joint European-US satellite will take place on 30 June.

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An unexpected solar wind seen by Ulysses
The Ulysses spacecraft, which is celebrating its 18 years in space, has given unexpected results on the solar wind. The electron density and temperature of the solar wind have dropped significantly since the last solar minimum of activity. This drop has a still unknown origin, but could be related to long-term fluctuations of the solar dynamo, as proposed by a team of researchers, including several persons from Paris Observatory.

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Data from the Ulysses spacecraft, a joint NASA-European Space Agency mission, show the sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings became available. The sun's current state could reduce the natural shielding that envelops our solar system.

"The sun's million mile-per-hour solar wind inflates a protective bubble, or heliosphere, around the solar system. It influences how things work here on Earth and even out at the boundary of our solar system where it meets the galaxy. Ulysses data indicate the solar wind's global pressure is the lowest we have seen since the beginning of the space age" - Dave McComas, Ulysses' solar wind instrument principal investigator and senior executive director at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

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NASA will hold a media teleconference Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 12:30 p.m. EDT, to discuss data from the joint NASA and European Space Agency Ulysses mission that reveals the sun's solar wind is at a 50-year low. The sun's current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system

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The Ulysses spacecraft, whose mission was expected to end on 1 July 2008, is hanging on valiantly as spacecraft controllers wait for a sign of the fuel freeze that would end the mission. This could happen any time now.

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After more than 17 years relentlessly exploring the effects of solar activity on the space that surrounds us, the Ulysses mission is now approaching its end. Representatives of the media are invited to a joint ESA/NASA press conference on 12 June 2008 taking place at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France, to hear about the achievements that will form the Ulysses legacy.

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Ulysses, the mission to study the Suns poles and the influence of our star on surrounding space is coming to an end. After more than 17 years in space almost four times its expected lifetime the mission is finally succumbing to its harsh environment and is likely to finish sometime in the next month or two.
 Ulysses is a joint mission between ESA and NASA. It was launched in 1990 from a space shuttle and was the first mission to study the environment of space above and below the poles of the Sun. The reams of data Ulysses has returned have forever changed the way scientists view the Sun and its effect on the space surrounding it.

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