Voyager 1 makes history as first man-made object to leave solar system

Story by: Jack Meier

Voyager 1 has just made history by being the first manmade object to exit our solar system, NASA stated on Thursday.  It has crossed the heliosphere, the magnetic boundary that defines the border between interstellar space and our solar system.

The probe and its brother, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977, sixteen days apart.  Voyager 1 is currently at a distance of 18.8 billion kilometers from Earth, and its brother Voyager 2 is 15.3 billion kilometers away.  Voyager 1 is currently traveling at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour.

Voyager 2 is estimated to leave the heliosphere in three to four years.  Since Voyager 2’s plasma instrument is still functional, we will have a better idea of when exactly the probe crosses into interstellar space.

“In leaving the heliosphere and setting sail on the cosmic sea between the stars, Voyager has joined other historic journeys of exploration; the first circumnavigation of the globe, the first steps on the moon” Ed Stone, chief scientist on the Voyager mission remarked.

How they determined when the spacecraft actually crossed the threshold was tricky, as the plasma measuring instrument broke way back in 1980.  To skirt around that handicap, the scientists working on the project measured the waves in the plasma around the craft, and used it to calculate density.

The vibrations were caused by a large coronal mass ejection (solar flare), from the sun in 2012.  The ejection formed what Stone called a ‘solar wind tsunami.’

Between October 23rd and November 27th, the spacecraft traveled through an area with an electron density of 0.06 per cubic centimeter.  This is still within the interstellar space range, meaning the craft passed through plasma with increasing electron density.

In the interstellar medium, the density of electrons is thought to be between 0.22 and 0.05 electrons per cubic centimeter.  Interstellar plasma particles are created by the explosions of giant stars, scientists theorize.

The theory, led by the University of Iowa physicist Donald Gurnett, states that the concentration of plasma particles is thirty times greater outside the heliosphere than inside.  This middle ground between the heliosphere and interstellar space is called the heliopause.

The probe itself has 68KB of data storage, much, much less than the average smartphone.  Scientists communicate with it daily to retrieve the pictures and wipe the memory so more pictures can be taken.

“It’s the little spacecraft that could” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager.

Scientists are interested in observing the differences between our solar wind, and the solar wind from interstellar space.  Our heliosphere is akin to a rock in a river, the solar wind has to flow around it like water around a rock.

Both probes carry the ‘golden record’, a 12 inch gold plated copper disk with sights and sounds from Earth.  The idea was that if extraterrestrials find the probe, they will listen to the disk and learn about us and our culture.

The disk has 115 images, and many natural sounds such as birds, surf, thunder, wind, and animals.  There is also a compilation of music from different genres and eras.  There are greetings spoken in fifty-five different languages, beginning with Akkadian, an ancient Sumer language, and ending with Wu, a modern-day Chinese dialect.

Natural radioactive decay generates enough power to allow Voyager to communicate with Earth and run its instruments.  The first instrument will be shut off in 2020, and the spacecraft will go dark in 2025.

But for now, the probe will forge on through the complete darkness that is interstellar space, and hopefully, one day, something else will pick it up.

IPhone 5S ! Samsung Galaxy S4 ! Who’s the winner ?

Story by Charles Guénard

On September the 10th, Apple launched the brand new iPhone 5S.  But at the same time, Samsung replied with its latest smartphone : the Galaxy S4. They have just been released on the market days ago, but a war is already announced between these smartphones who can be both considered as the best. The question that can be asked is : what is the best ? Through this article who will develop and compare each device with the design, the performance and all important stuff, you will be able to make your idea.

With the design, the iPhone 5S has a stronger  structure than the galaxy S4, the glass of the iPhone 5S can resist to an important shock. The Galaxy S4 is just built in a plastic slab. Speaking of the color, the iPhone 5S is proposed in 3 colors : gold, silver and space grey.  Samsung’s smartphone proposes a removable back.

The drawback of the smartphone is the battery life because it doesn’t last for long, Apple and Samsung have tried to improve with that with their new products. Samsung talked a lot about the battery life of the galaxy S4 and presented it as “an amazing improvement”. Apple was very discreet about that, but after many tests, it has been proved that the iPhone 5S will last longer than the Galaxy S4 : 10 hours of Internet LTE for the iPhone 5S against 6 hours for the Galaxy S4.

The size of the screen of the iPhone 5S is the same than the previous iPhone. The galaxy S4′ screen is much bigger than the one of the iPhone 5S. The Samsung product will be better to watch videos, surfing on the web and playing games, it has a 1920 x 1080 pixels’ display.

For the performance, the iPhone 5S has all-new A7 chip. It also got a 64 bit architecture. Apple insure that these features will double the performance compared to the previous iPhone. Apple showed these performance with the new game Infinity Blade 3. This demonstration let people think that the gaming performance of the iPhone 5S will blow away what has been seen with the Android games.

With the iPhone 5S, Apple introduces the new Software iOS 7, the notable feature is the control center who make the main setting easier to access.  The Galaxy S4  has what has been called the TouchWiz, it promises to give you notifications faster while busy. It also propose a clever multitasking interface : 2 apps can run on the screen at the same moment.

While introducing the iPhone 5S, Apple talked a lot about the ID touch, a fingerprint scan. This way, the smartphone can be unlocked only by the owner, “thinking foward”, that’s how Apple describes this feature.  The Galaxy S4 proposes the Air gestures, the vocal assistant which is clever than Siri on the iPhone 5S.

It’s impossible to talk about these phones without speaking of their camera. The Galaxy S4 will give your better results in terms of definition and resolution. But in terms of quality of the picture and the video, the iPhone 5S will give you amazing results with his iSight camera. Moreover, the iPhone 5S offers a slow motion recording : a whole new feature in the smartphone history.

IPhone 5S or Galaxy S4 ? It’s time to make your choice !

The Byway or The Highway

Story by Hali Aller

Imagine you’re on the verge of making a big time business deal for your company; this deal will hopefully impress your boss, making you big bucks and perhaps a big promotion. You’re driving down highway 95 towards the meeting all the way across The Long Bridge, your running just behind schedule due to traffic; you can’t afford to lose this opportunity. Traffic is still jammed, if only there was a faster way. All of a sudden, BAM!! A new byway is created, allowing you to cut through traffic and slide on through Sandpoint to your

meeting. What a life saver. You reach your destination, only to look at the clock and notice you are 20 minutes late, the deal is lost, they’re not going to waste their time on someone who’s late. If only the byway was created sooner, only then would you have made it on time and strike on that big time deal.

The Sand Creek Byway began construction in 2008, with many struggles along the way, construction ended in 2012; allowing us to get through town quicker and avoid traffic. Many have been saying the byway has improved our town greatly.

Mala Saied, a senior from Forrest Bird Charter school comments, “I like how it separates the big hauling trucks from those who drive little town vehicles. It allows us to enjoy going to through town for a drive about, without dealing with big trucks blocking our view.”

“It’s convenient for the town, I haven’t been here that long, but it’s sure a nice way to get through town without actually going through town,” says teacher Mrs. Logan from FBCS.

“I like it because it allows me to get to practice on time, which is out at Cocolalla, being a coach I have to be there before the kids, and before the byway I was always minutes late, which leaves me little time to get prepared

Photo by Hali Aller: Heading home on South Bus.

and ready,” addresses Rae Aller mother of student at FBCS.

The byway has improved our town greatly, but it took a little longer than planned. This project was supposed to end two months before schedule, which was in 2010, but with many construction problems and weather conditions, it wasn’t finished until 2012.

This year the Idaho Transportation Department nominated the byway for America’s Transportation Award.

“We had a number of major factors in completing it and still we were able to complete it ahead of schedule,” said Mel Coulter, a spokesman at ITD’s Office of Communications in Boise.

Others are shocked.

“Really?” said Mark Webber, teacher at Forrest Bird Charter School, “They’ve nominated our byway, even after all the problems they had with it?”

Yes, and now it’s been named best project in the highway/bridges category by the Engineering News-Record Mountain States.

Even though there were many benefits that came with the new road, after the problems that cost us more money to fix, do you really think the byway should be called the best project?

“Best project? Well, I wouldn’t call it the best, for there have been other ideas put out and even taken into action that may have or has improved our town far greater than the byway, but really after all the problems that took place while under construction with the byway, I don’t think it should be even nominated for best project,” says student at FBCS.

Welcome to the 75th Annual Hunger Games!

Story by Sam Berkey

Jennifer Lawrence is back again as the infamous Katniss Everdeen in the new prequel to the first Hunger Games movie, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This time, Katniss and Peeta Mellark are put back into the Games after barely coming out alive from their first competition.  Old characters we know and love along with some new characters, thrills and chills await us in this new film, coming November 22nd.

But what made Jennifer become this beloved character? How did she rise to fame? These are questions that some people overlook or just don’t think about. Many don’t know that she tried out for the role of Bella Swan in the Twilight movies. Nor do they know much of the other movies or TV shows she stared or guest stared in.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky as the youngest and the only daughter to Karen and Gary Lawrence she started acting at the local theater. When she was fourteen, she persuaded her parents to take her to New York to find an agent and to pursue a successful acting carrier. Never having one lesson or class in acting, Lawrence started on the TBS The Bill Engvall Show comedy TV series as Lauren Pearson in 2007. She was given the Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Performer in a TV Series for the role, even though the show was cancelled after only three seasons.

From there, Lawrence appeared on other TV series such as Monk, Cold Case, and Medium as a guest. She was given a small role as Tiff in Garden Party in 2008, and later that year was in The Burning Plain as Mariana. She received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress at the Venice Film Festival in ’08 due to her performance. Lawrence was cast as the lead role in the family drama The Poker House as a young girl victim of abuse and neglect which awarded her the Los Angeles Film Festival for Outstanding Performance that same year.

Lawrence finally made a breakthrough when she stared in Winter’s Bone as Ree Dolly which won Best Picture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. She had obtained the Academy Award for Best Actress and the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance on January 25th, 2011. This made her the third youngest actress to be nominated for that category accruing more nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Independent Spirits Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and the Satellite Awards among many others.

But her most well known performance is her character Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Lawrence, a fan of the series, was intimidated by the size of the movie and what it might do for her fame that it took her three days to accept the role. She had to go through yoga, archery, rock and tree climbing, combat, parkour, running, Pilates and stunt training in order to be in perfect shape for the role. Her role as Katniss was praised by many reporters and critics and Forbes Magazine stated “No one who has seen The Hunger Games would question star Jennifer Lawrence’s ability to play an action star.”

In 2011, Lawrence stared as the golden eyed, blue-skinned shape-shifting Raven Darkholme/Mystique in X-Men: First Class which was one of two prequels to the X-Men series. She will be returning as the same character this upcoming year in X-Men Days of Future Past. Lawrence stared in her first thriller called The House at the End of the Street as Elissa, and was first cast as “O” in Savages, but she declined it due to her scheduling conflicts.  She played Tiffany Maxwell, a recently widowed young woman in the romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. That performance made her receive worldwide praise from all critics for her leading role. Lawrence was given the Golden Globe, Academy Award and other accolades for Best Actress for her wonderful performance.

Lawrence surprisingly replaced Angelina Jolie in Serena as an unstable woman who can’t give her husband children and sets out to kill a woman that bore him a son before Selena and her husband were married. She will also be staring in American Hustle which is about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam with actors Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and actress Amy Adams. The Ends of the Earth is going to be her third collaboration film that is directed by David O. Russell and The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeanette Wall’s best-seller, will be casting Lawrence as the lead role. Lawrence will still be acting as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay-Part 1 which will be released in November 21st, 2014 and Part 2 will be released the 20th of November in 2015. June of this year, it will be announced that Lawrence will not only be acting but producing the film adaptation of The Rules of Inheritance, Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir that will be directed by Susanne Bier.