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Voyagers & Kbo's, Searching for KBO's w/Voyager cams?
algorimancer
post May 24 2005, 05:32 PM
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I know the Voyager cameras were shut down many years ago, but I wonder whether it would be feasible to reactivate them and use them to survey Kuiper-Belt objects in the vicinity? KBO's had not yet been discovered at the time the cams were shut down, as best as I can recall, but it seems a waste not to put them (or even the star trackers) to use for periodic long-exposure surveys of the local vicinity. I know power is running low, but does anyone know if this is an option? Also, it would make sense to use ground-based telescopes to search for large KBO's near the Voyager spacecraft... it is conceivable that a serendipitous flyby may be feasible.
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tedstryk
post May 24 2005, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE (algorimancer @ May 24 2005, 05:32 PM)
I know the Voyager cameras were shut down many years ago, but I wonder whether it would be feasible to reactivate them and use them to survey Kuiper-Belt objects in the vicinity?  KBO's had not yet been discovered at the time the cams were shut down, as best as I can recall, but it  seems a waste not to put them (or even the star trackers) to use for periodic long-exposure surveys of the local vicinity.  I know power is running low, but does anyone know if this is an option?  Also, it would make sense to use ground-based telescopes to search for large KBO's near the Voyager spacecraft... it is conceivable that a serendipitous flyby may be feasible.
*


No. The power levels are too low, and the scan platform has been turned off. I don't think there is enough power to run the cameras even if they wanted to. At any rate, the first Kuiper belt flyby might have already occured. I hope they can someday pin down information with greater certainty regarding this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/460095.stm


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dilo
post May 25 2005, 05:53 AM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ May 24 2005, 05:45 PM)
No.  The power levels are too low, and the scan platform has been turned off.  I don't think there is enough power to run the cameras even if they wanted to.  At any rate, the first Kuiper belt flyby might have already occured.  I hope they can someday pin down information with greater certainty regarding this.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/460095.stm
*


Very ineresting article, I didn't know this possible discovery of KBO from Pioneer10 data... Do someone know if discovery was confirmed later?


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tedstryk
post May 25 2005, 11:24 AM
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QUOTE (dilo @ May 25 2005, 05:53 AM)
QUOTE (tedstryk @ May 24 2005, 05:45 PM)
No.  The power levels are too low, and the scan platform has been turned off.  I don't think there is enough power to run the cameras even if they wanted to.  At any rate, the first Kuiper belt flyby might have already occured.  I hope they can someday pin down information with greater certainty regarding this.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/460095.stm
*


Very ineresting article, I didn't know this possible discovery of KBO from Pioneer10 data... Do someone know if discovery was confirmed later?
*




It has not been...but remember 1992 was also the year 1992 QB1 was discovered - so in other words, it was the same year they first detected KBO's from the ground. So despite no success in followup, there may have been something there. The key would be to, once we have a more coherent survey of KBOs, follow some orbits backwards and se if anything was in the area at the time.


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edstrick
post May 25 2005, 11:32 AM
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The Selenium-Sulfur Vidicon image tubes in the Voyager Cameras are way way too insensative to be of any use in picking up KBOs. From the middle of the densest part of the belt, the closest, brightest KBO might be several AU <earth orbit radii> away, and in dim outer solar system illumination. "Bright" nearby ones might be 15'th magnitude or so, faint ones maybe 20'th magnitude and fainter.
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algorimancer
post May 25 2005, 01:02 PM
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Neat, I'm not sure I recall hearing about the Pioneer 10 thing. I would guess that, considering the distance, an optical search in the vicinity of the 1999 position should find the KBO; I wouldn't expect much visible motion.
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dilo
post May 26 2005, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (algorimancer @ May 25 2005, 01:02 PM)
Neat, I'm not sure I recall hearing about the Pioneer 10 thing.  I would guess that, considering the distance, an optical search in the vicinity of the 1999 position should find the KBO; I wouldn't expect much visible motion.
*

Assuming moderate orbit eccentricity, an object orbiting at this distance should move at least 10 degree from position occuped 12.5 years before... not so easy to find, considering that direction of motion is unknown!


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nprev
post Dec 23 2005, 12:18 AM
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That must have been a CLOSE encounter for a detectable deflection to happen at all, true?.... blink.gif.

Most KBOs are real lightweights, considering their low densities. Considering the odds of Pioneer 10 coming anywhere near anything out there, maybe a search within a 10 deg radius of the last known position would actually be worth doing! Odds are that the object is pretty hefty by KBO standards...plus, the BBC article indicated that it might be on a solar escape trajectory, so the history/orbital dynamics of this hypothetical body would be extremely interesting in so many ways...


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abalone
post Dec 23 2005, 01:37 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Dec 23 2005, 11:18 AM)
That must have been a CLOSE encounter for a detectable deflection to happen at all, true?.... blink.gif.

Most KBOs are real lightweights, considering their low densities. Considering the odds of Pioneer 10 coming anywhere near anything out there, maybe a search within a 10 deg radius of the last known position would actually be worth doing! Odds are that the object is pretty hefty by KBO standards...plus, the BBC article indicated that it might be on a solar escape trajectory, so the history/orbital dynamics of this hypothetical body would be extremely interesting in so many ways...
*

Here is a post from Oct 29 on Big TNO thread that I posted after en email enquiry I made of the scientist quoted in this same article

QUOTE
Like to share with you an email I received today from Giacomo Giampieri

Thank you for your interest in our research, and sorry for the delay in
answering your query.

The signal we studied in 1999 was very interesting and peculiar.
Unfortunately, a single flyby (assuming that the signal was real) does
not allow an unambiguous measure of the mass and the orbital parameter
of the alleged body. We could determine a rather wide range of possible
values for its position, but given that 7 years were already passed,
the uncertainty in the body's position was too big to allow for an
optical detection. Lacking an independent confirmation of the body
existence, we could not draw any final conclusion about the signal that
we saw.

I hope this answers your query.

Best regards,

Giacomo Giampieri

On 11 Sep 2005, at 04:32, Richard K. wrote:>
> Hi
> I have been reading with interest an old news article
>
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/460095.stm
> A few quotes from the article above
>
> “PN 10 experienced a gravitational deflection in December 1992.
> This story was reported by BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David
> Whitehouse on 28 September 1999”
> "On 8 December, 1992, when Pioneer was 8.4 billion km (5.2 billion
> miles) away, they saw that it had been deflected from its course for
> about 25 days."
>
> With Pioneer travelling at 15km/s it would indicate a big object
> would it not?
>
>
> Has anything come of this, it happened 13 years ago? Was it ever
> visually observed from Earth?
>
> "In a few weeks time, they are expected to be able to place an upper
> limit on the mass of the object and make predictions about its
> position. Early indications suggest it may be an object that is being
> ejected from our Solar System after encountering a major planet."
>
> I would very much appreciate any information
>
> Richard K
> Australia
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ljk4-1
post Dec 23 2005, 01:57 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Dec 22 2005, 07:18 PM)
That must have been a CLOSE encounter for a detectable deflection to happen at all, true?.... blink.gif.

Most KBOs are real lightweights, considering their low densities. Considering the odds of Pioneer 10 coming anywhere near anything out there, maybe a search within a 10 deg radius of the last known position would actually be worth doing! Odds are that the object is pretty hefty by KBO standards...plus, the BBC article indicated that it might be on a solar escape trajectory, so the history/orbital dynamics of this hypothetical body would be extremely interesting in so many ways...
*


Here's a question: If one of only four probes we have sent into the TNO/KBO region had a close encounter with such an object by pure chance, does this mean that the belt is denser with such bodies than thought? Being so far from the Sun and so dark also makes this a possibility.

Maybe we've just solved the dark matter issue too....


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nprev
post Dec 23 2005, 03:53 AM
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QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Dec 22 2005, 06:57 PM)
Here's a question:  If one of only four probes we have sent into the TNO/KBO region had a close encounter with such an object by pure chance, does this mean that the belt is denser with such bodies than thought?  Being so far from the Sun and so dark also makes this a possibility. 

Maybe we've just solved the dark matter issue too....
*


Mmmm..,sorry, but I must respectfully disagree. Considering the huge volume of space we're talking about when we think of the Kuiper Belt (it makes the rest of the solar system look pretty small), I would think that we'd see a lot more cometary activity if the KBO/TNO region was densely populated enough to make this event anything but a coincidence...and possibly a tremendous lost opportunity. sad.gif


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nprev
post Dec 23 2005, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Dec 22 2005, 08:53 PM)
Mmmm..,sorry, but I must respectfully disagree. Considering the huge volume of space we're talking about when we think of the Kuiper Belt (it makes the rest of the solar system look pretty small), I would think that we'd see a lot more cometary activity if the KBO/TNO region was densely populated enough to make this event anything but a coincidence...and possibly a tremendous lost opportunity.  sad.gif
*



...forgot to add, "...if it was in fact a real event." Thanks for sharing your reply from the investigators, Abalone!


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Planet X
post Jan 9 2006, 04:17 PM
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It makes you wonder which planet it was that might of ejected this KBO. It could also have been the sun that did it. Ahh! The object that pulled Pioneer 10 off course is Planet Vulcan! It wandered too close to Mercury and got swung around by that planet's gravity toward the sun. The sun then ejected Vulcan in the general direction that Pioneer 10 is traveling straight out of our solar system. Audios, Vulcan!

All kidding aside, the mystery object probably got too close to Neptune and was subsequently hurtled clear across the solar system before encountering Pioneer 10 on the way out. It definately makes one wonder what type of object this thing is. It could be another lost Pluto, FY9, or Sedna. Anyway, I too think a search of some kind should take place. Wouldn't it be something to actually physically detect an object besides our spaceprobes on a solar escape trajectory? Later!

J P
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