New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

Aug 19, 2013
Originally published on August 19, 2013 2:52 pm

The Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. It kept on going. Today it's billions of miles from Earth, and scientists have been predicting it will soon leave the solar system.

NPR has been on Voyager watch since at least 2003, when longtime science correspondent Richard Harris provided this warning of Voyager's impending departure.

But now Marc Swisdak, a physicist at the University of Maryland, says the spacecraft may have already left. "Late July 2012 is when we think it [left]," he says.

How did we miss that? As it turns out, it wasn't entirely our fault. Researchers thought the solar system was surrounded by a clearly marked magnetic field bubble.

"There's one at the Earth, there's one at Jupiter, Saturn — many planets have them. And so just by analogy we were expecting there to be something like that for the solar system," Swisdak says.

Scientists were waiting for Voyager to cross over the magnetic edge of our solar system and into the magnetic field of interstellar space. But in a paper in the September issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, Swisdak and his colleagues say the magnetic fields may blend together. And so in July 2012, when Voyager crossed from the solar system into deep space, "Voyager just kept cruising along," Swisdak says. All scientists saw was a change in the field's direction.

But not everyone thinks Voyager has left. Ed Stone is NASA's chief scientist for Voyager. He thinks there is a magnetic edge to the solar system, and until Voyager sees a change in the magnetic field, it hasn't left the solar system. He's hoping that change will come in the next few years.

"I think that there is a very good chance before we run out of electrical power that we will be demonstrably in interstellar space," he says.

Until Voyager's power goes out or the magnetic field flips, the scientific debate will continue. So will Voyager's journey, Swisdak says: "Basically it's just happily heading out toward ... pretty much nowhere."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn, and it has just kept on going, and going. Today it's billions of miles from Earth, and scientists have been predicting it will soon leave our solar system. But one research team says it already has and that it happened a year ago. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel asks, how'd we miss that?

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: For the past decade or so, we here at NPR have been waiting for Voyager 1 to leave the solar system.

RICHARD HARRIS: (Unintelligible) and his colleagues believe that Voyager 1 passed through the beginning of the end of our solar system.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And it's about to leave the space that is influenced by the energy from the sun.

AUDIE CORNISH: Voyager 1 is almost there.

BRUMFIEL: That's NPR's Richard Harris, Steve Inskeep and Audie Cornish. But now Marc Swisdak, a researcher at the University of Maryland, says the spacecraft may have already left.

MARC SWISDAK: July - late July 2012 is when we think it is.

BRUMFIEL: July 27, to be precise, which is almost my birthday.

SWISDAK: It's almost my wedding anniversary too. So there is that going forth.

BRUMFIEL: Seriously, though. How did we miss that? As it turned out, it wasn't entirely our fault. Researchers thought the solar system was surrounded by a clearly marked magnetic field.

SWISDAK: There's one at the Earth, there's one at, for instance, Jupiter, Saturn, many of the planets have them. And so just by analogy, we were expecting there to be something like that for the solar system.

BRUMFIEL: Scientists were waiting for Voyager to cross over the magnetic edge of our solar system and into the magnetic field of interstellar space. But in a paper in the September issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, Swisdak and his colleagues say the magnetic fields may blend together. And so in July of 2012, when Voyager crossed from the solar system into deep space, all they saw was a little change in the field.

SWISDAK: Voyager just kept cruising along.

BRUMFIEL: But not everyone thinks Voyager has left. Ed Stone is NASA's chief scientist for Voyager. He thinks there is a magnetic edge, and until Voyager sees a change in the magnetic field, it's still in the solar system. He's hoping that change will come in coming years.

ED STONE: I think there's a very good chance before we run out of electrical power that we will be demonstrably in interstellar space.

BRUMFIEL: Until Voyager's power goes out or the magnetic field flips, Swisdak says the scientific debate will continue. So will Voyager's journey.

SWISDAK: Basically it's just happily heading off towards pretty much nowhere.

BRUMFIEL: Geoff Brumfiel, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.