Space Stories! Spiders And The Magnetic Highway

Space Stories! Spiders And The Magnetic Highway

Some really cool stuff is going on in space, you guys. NASA’s Voyager 1 is continuing its trek out of our solar system, onto what’s being called the magnetic highway, and I’ve learned a word I’d never thought I’d write: Spidernaut.

Magnetic Highway

So, our Voyager 1 spacecraft has been traveling at eleven miles per second on a one-way trip out of this solar system. As it gets to the edge, it’s hitting up against some friction. And it’s entered a new region of space that scientists are calling the “Magnetic Highway.

What is that exactly? Well, first off, Voyager 1 is in the heliosphere, which is the “bubble” of solar winds coming from our Sun. Those solar winds are what, at this point in time, propel Voyager 1. But as it’s about to exit the heliosphere, interstellar particles are pushing back. This creates a weird dancing of particles around the edges.

It’s a way for the solar system’s lower energy particles and higher energy interstellar particles to pass by one another on their way out or in to the heliosphere.

Once Voyager 1 passes this, there’s a good chance that it’ll be out of the solar system, and the first craft to ever make interstellar travel.

And probably run into Vulcans. Let’s hope for Vulcans.

 

Spidernaut!

At the suggestion of an Egyptian student, this little girl was brought to the International Space Station:

A redback jumping spider, she was called Nefertiti and was brought along to the ISS to study a spider’s predatorial habits in microgravity. The spider acclimated to its new normal quite quickly, and suffered no adverse effects to being in outer space.

After a hundred days on the space station, Nefertiti returned to Earth, where she died a few days later. Once they examined her, they determined that the death was of natural causes. While redback jumping spiders have a life span of around a year, at ten months, scientists believe that is not out of the ordinary.

Question: What other animal do you want to see shot out into space?