Voyager 2 Proves the Solar System is Squashed - Presenter Bios
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has followed Voyager 1 into the solar system's
final frontier, a vast region at the edge of our solar system where the
solar wind runs up against the thin gas between the stars. Voyager 2 took a
different path than Voyager 1, entering this region, called the heliosheath,
on Aug. 30, 2007.
Voyager 2 crossed the heliosheath boundary, 10 billion
miles away from Voyager 1 and almost a billion miles closer to the sun. By
doing so, it confirmed that our solar system is "squashed" or "dented," that
the bubble carved into interstellar space by the solar wind is pushed in
closer to the sun by the local interstellar magnetic field where Voyager 2
made its crossing. Researchers will discuss new details of the solar wind
termination shock still being pondered.
Reporters will learn about the Voyager 2 findings from several scientists.
- Voyager Mission Scientist, California Institute of Technology
Edward Stone is the David Morrisroe Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1991-2001). He has also served as chair of Caltech's Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy. He oversaw the development of the Keck Observatory as vice president for astronomical facilities.
Since 1972, Stone has been the project scientist for the Voyager Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, coordinating the scientific study of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and Voyager's continuing exploration of the outer heliosphere and search for the edge of interstellar space. Following his first instrument on a Discoverer satellite in 1961, Stone has been a principal investigator on nine NASA spacecraft and a co-investigator on five other NASA missions, for which he developed instruments to study galactic cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, and planetary magnetospheres.
- Principal Investigator of the Voyager Plasma Experiment, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John Richardson is a principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the principal investigator of the Voyager Plasma Experiment. His research topics have included planetary magnetospheres, space weather, solar wind properties and evolution, and the interaction of the heliosphere with the interstellar medium. He is an author on more than 200 scientific papers.
- Voyager Magnetometer Instrument Scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Leonard Burlaga is an astrophysicist in the Heliospheric Science Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Burlaga is a co-investigator on the magnetic field instrument on the Voyager mission. He has been a co-investigator on plasma and magnetic field instruments on six other NASA missions exploring the heliosphere.
Burlaga has served on numerous NASA Advisory Groups. He was president of the Commission on the Interplanetary Plasma and the Heliosphere of the International Astronomical Union, the secretary of the Cosmic Ray Section of the AGU, and the chairman of the Solar Wind and Interplanetary Magnetic Field Division of IAGA. Burlaga has received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the Lindsay Award, and the Goddard Space Flight Center Award of Merit.
- Voyager Low-Energy Charged Particle Instrument Scientist, Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory
Robert Decker is a staff research physicist in the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He is a co-investigator on the Low Energy Charged Particle instruments on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts. His current interest is in understanding low-energy ion and electron data measured in the vicinity of the termination shock of the solar wind, and the implications these data have for particle acceleration processes and for the global structure of the heliosphere. He also collaborates on the analyzing and modeling energetic charged particle data from instruments on spacecraft in the inner heliosphere, including the ACE, Ulysses and Cassini probes.
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