CSR - Center for Space Research MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Justin Ashmall - Space Plasma Group - Centre for Space Research - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Address Telephone Email
M.I.T. Center for Space Research,
70 Vassar St, Rm 37-673,
Cambridge, MA. 02139.
[map]
Tel: (+1) 617-258-8030
Fax: (+1) 617-253-0861
Secretary Tel: (+1) 617-253-3769.
ja@space.mit.edu

I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the Space Plasma Group at the Center for Space Research working principally on the Voyager spacecraft and in particular on data from MIT's plasma instruments onboard the two Voyager spacecraft.

Originally from the UK, I moved to the US in 2002 to work at MIT. Prior to this, I completed my PhD at Imperial College London in the Space and Atmospheric Physics (SPAT) group and thereafter worked as a postdoc on the GERB project.


Voyager

The Voyager mission is unique. Two identical spacecraft, lauched in 1977, were sent on a journey allowing them to explore Saturn and Jupiter and then onto Neptune, Uranus and beyond. The Voyagers continue to speed away from the Earth and, although the planets have been left far behind, the spacecraft return measurements on a daily basis as they continue to provide ground-breaking discoveries.

Voyager 1 is the most distant man-made object. As of 28 Feb 2007 Voyager 1 was 15.3 billion km away (9.5 billion miles) and is travelling away at a speed of 62 thousand km/h (38 thousand mph). Voyager 2 is not far behind at 12.4 billion km away (7.7 billion miles) and is travelling away at a speed of 62 thousand km/h (38 thousand mph).

The plots below show data from our plasma instrument onboard Voyager 2, showing the speed, temperature and density of the solar wind. Plots show hourly averages from the last 100 days, and daily averages from the last year, and the last five years. Click to enlarge.