Friday, August 31, 2012

Wait, Voyager traveled HOW far?!?!?

In 1977 NASA launched Voyager 1  and 2, two probes boldly going where no spacecraft had gone before!  After 35 years of zipping through space these ultimate inanimate explorers still work and are still communicating with us!  The Voyager program has been a vital source of information used by astronomers in understanding more about our own cosmic back yard.  Some of the most commonly used photos of our solar system have been snapped by Voyager 1 and 2 while they blast towards interstellar space!  The last planetary rendezvous was when Voyager 2 did a flyby of Neptune in 1989.  Since then the cosmic explorers have just been blasting on ahead and away from our sun.

These are unmanned spacecraft so they can travel at some pretty amazing speeds.  The speeds reached by these spacecraft allow them to travel huge distances, after all there's a LOT of space in space.  Voyager 1 is leaving our solar system and heading into the great-even-more-so-unknown of interstellar space at a whopping speed of 32,000 miles an hour!  This means this flying vessel can trek about 912,000 miles a day!! That's a pretty fast flight!

For more information on this program check out NASA's voyager page!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ladies and Gents, The impressive PENCIL!

400 years ago lead was harnessed to wood and thus pencils were born!  Today, most pencils are made of graphite surrounded by a wooden shell.  The average pencil can draw a line for about 35 miles!  If you're not drawing 35 mile long lines you could be writing words, about 45,000 words is the average life span of a graphite pencil.  This prolific writing tool is used all over the planet so it’s no surprise that about 15 billion pencils are manufactured every year!  That's enough to reach (end to end) from Earth to the moon seven times.  Also, seeing as how pencils work in zero gravity, they're often used for space missions over standard pens.  This impressive tool has been used by such great minds as Thomas Edison, John Steinbeck, and Johnny Carson!  Remember to use a sharpener because writing with a broken pencil is...pointless! 

More pencil related articles can be found right here:
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