ISS – International Space Station
HST – Hubble Space Telescope
Vanguard 1 – Oldest artificial satellite still in orbit (since 1958)
Van Allan Belts – Where the Earth’s Magnetic Field traps and accelerates particles.
Chandra – X-Ray Observatory (lunar deity)
WMAP – Background Radiation Observatory
Ulysses – Used Jupiter’s gravity to orbit above and below the Sun’s Poles (unique orbit for man-
Pioneer 10 - First man-made object to pass through the asteroid belt and to Jupiter. Launched
1972, last contact 2002.
Voyager 1 – Launched 1977. Furthest Man-made object from Earth (13.8 light-hours / 9.3 billion
miles). Further than any known natural object in the solar system. First probe to take detailed
pictures of Jupiter and Saturn and their Moons. Fastest Man made object, traveling at 38,400
mph / ~11miles per second.
Voyager 2 – Launched 1977. Took advantage of a unique alignment to visit Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus and Neptune and see their moons. Arguably the best single scientific mission into space.
Both voyagers are still running, powered by nuclear batteries and should last until 2020. By this
time they should have crossed the heliopause and the first measurements of interstellar space will
be made. [Their funding is under consideration due to budget cuts to fund NASA’s ambition to
go back to the moon and to Mars]
Heliopause – Where the sun’s solar wind breaks against the radiation from the rest of the universe
(A solar system shield if you will)
Oort Cloud – Possible source for long period comets.
Local Group – These points are now galaxies, not stars.
Great Walls – Areas where galaxies form huge clusters.
Zone of Avoidance – Where our own galaxy (Milky Way) blocks our view of the rest of the
Unreachable z = 1.6876 – Redshift (their acceleration) away from us is so great that even a signal
traveling at the speed of light from Earth will never reach them, ever! Note this diagram from
left to right represents our view over 360 degrees. So you can never get to the ‘edge’ as the
further away you get the further the ‘edge’ moves away from you. Also the edge in this case is
the beginning of time. At these scales distance and time are kinda mixed in a way to mash your
brain. Also note it’s not a linear scale for the distance.