For an incredible 33 years, Voyager 2 has been our eyes of discovery in the outer solar system and beyond. This venerable spacecraft has been in continuous operation more than 12,000 days, sending us compelling photos and information about the gas giants of the solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Now headed into interstellar space beyond the solar system, the spacecraft is still transmitting invaluable data about the solar wind and deep space beyond the planets.
At 12:47 pm today, December 21, 2009, winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day of winter is called the Winter Solstice; likewise, the first day of summer is the Summer Solstice. The word solstice is derived from Latin and means “sun standing still.” On these two days of the year, the sun’s apparent position in the sky has reached its most southern or northern extreme. Today there will only be 9 hours and 33 minutes of daylight in Richmond, but tomorrow the number of daylight hours will once again begin to increase.