mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Voyager Chief Scientist to Speak on Spacecraft’s Journey to Interstellar Space

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February 5, 2015


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Ed Stone with Voyager 1
Edward Stone with Voyager 1.
Photo: Courtesy E. Stone.
Voyager image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In August of 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter and Saturn, crossed the threshold into interstellar space, the first human-made object to do so.

Edward Stone, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, former director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and chief scientist for the Voyager Mission, will explain the spacecraft’s journey in the next Sheraton Waikiki Explorers of the Universe public lecture, “The Voyager Journey to Interstellar Space,” at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus Center Ballroom on Wednesday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. Campus parking is $6.

Tickets are free but required. To obtain them, go to Latecomers with tickets may not be seated, as people without tickets will be seated on a first-come, first-seated basis starting at 7:20 p.m.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched 16 days apart in 1977 to fly by Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 2 also flew by Uranus and Neptune. Both spacecraft continued their journeys beyond the planets as they searched for the edge of the heliosphere, the giant bubble created by the solar wind, the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun.

Beyond the bubble lies interstellar space, the space between the stars filled with matter from the explosions of other stars and by the magnetic field of the Milky Way. Voyager 1  traveled over 11 billion miles from the sun to reach interstellar space. Its journey of discovery continues.

Photo and Images

Edward Stone (Courtesy E. Stone)

Voyager 1 Entering Interstellar Space (Artist Concept)

One Voyager Out, One Voyager In (Artist Concept)


Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Maunakea. The Institute operates facilities on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii.