[–] [deleted] 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago  (edited ago)

[Deleted]

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[–] cobeast [S] 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

So does it boil down to it costs too much or is it that it isn't even really feasible with current technology?

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[–] FantasticTuesday 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

We have!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_(spacecraft)

Here's a picture of the orbit. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/Ulysses_2_orbit.jpg

It's not as fuel-costly as others have mentioned, a gravity assist can be used to swing your orbit 'up' as well as 'out.' The simple answer is that there's very rarely any reason to put a probe in a polar orbit of the sun. We do quite often put spacecraft in to polar orbits around the Earth and other planets, but they only go a few thousand kilometres 'up' so I don't know if that fits your criterea!

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[–] cobeast [S] ago 

Thats pretty neat. Takes forever to orbit though huh?

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[–] frankis 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Though I think the gravity assist answer is the correct one, what's interesting is that our telescopes work better "up" and "down" because of the lack of stars in the way. Because of that, the map of our "observable universe" tends to look like this and this.

A quote from that last image:

In the previous section you were introduced to the Principle of Isotropy which states that the universe looks the same in any direction. This refers to the universe on the largest scale and is really saying that each part of the universe is essentially the same as any other. On a small scale, however, there is structure. Figure 15.11 shows a map of over 100 thousand galaxies plotted according to their position in the sky and their redshift. The earth is situated at the centre of the map and the dark wedges on either side are the regions of the sky blocked by the Milky Way galaxy.

http://www.kcvs.ca/martin/astro/au/unit6/153/chp15_3.html

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[–] JethroGuardian 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

What you're talking about applies to looking out from within our own galaxy, not from the solar system.

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[–] cobeast [S] ago 

That's pretty cool. Thanks!

Sidenote: I love the fact that the image is embedded here.

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[–] Kunkka 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Wouldn't it be funny as shit if there was alien life like right above earth

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[–] Astrophysics 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

That would be, but, realistically speaking, we've looked "up" before and haven't seen any planetary bodies, especially ones that would be able to support life, right above the Earth... and I think we would be able to tell that they existed because the light from the sun would make one side of the planet at least bright enough to distinguish when looking at the parts of the skies above or below the plane in which most planets are situated on.

Unless it's a rogue planet that is very far from the location of the known planets and has some form of life living beneath the ground (maybe getting energy from the planet's core?) that we'd never be able to detect.

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[–] Kunkka ago 

Aw. :( Would be amazing yet terrifying to know we aren't alone.

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[–] pseudonym1066 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Think of it this way: Gravity pulls things together, like people the earth or an apple to the ground.

The earth if it were stationary would fall down into the sun.

Probes don't fall into the sun usually because they typically orbit in a similar path to earth orbit.

To go "up" a probe would have to do two things: slow down its speed around the sun in the direction of earth's orbit. And secondly burn a huge amount of fuel going 'upwards' perpendicular to the plane of the solar system. Earth orbital speed is around 30km/s. The fastest ever rocket is around 16km/s or (58536km/h), and the fastest ever manned rocket travelled at 10.8km/s The difference between this and earth's orbital speed is fairly huge.

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[–] Astrophysics 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

For better imagery with the way orbits work, think about it like shooting a cannon ball.

If I shoot a regular cannon ball, it'll go a certain distance, flying through the air, until gravity eventually wins the tug-of-war and pulls it to the ground. Imagine if I use a better cannon that allows me to shoot it twice as far. It'll be flying "around the earth," since the Earth is a roughly approximated sphere, until the gravity of the Earth pulls it down to the surface. If I had a cannon enough cannon, like strapping a rocket onto the cannonball, I could make the cannonball go so fast that it actually falls around the Earth. It would be going so fast that while gravity is trying to pull the ball down, its speed is allowing it to continue to move around the Earth and stay above the ground (which would cause it to stop moving).

This is really the principle behind an orbit. You're not moving in a circular path, you are moving in one direction while gravity is pulling you in another, and the resultant vector of those velocities (since velocity is a vector, meaning of magnitude and direction**) would result in a circular/elliptical/whatever shaped path.

So, I wouldn't say you'd fall "down into" the Sun if the Earth stopped moving in reference to the Sun, but since you'd have no velocity to create that resultant vector that allows to travel in a circular path around the sun or "fall around the sun," then gravity would win the non-existent tug of war and pull you straight in towards it (just like if you dropped an object from a certain height on the Earth's surface and didn't give it any x-direction velocity when you let go).

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[–] sychian 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

What most folks seem to forget is that Voyager 1 is actually headed "north" out of the solar system. This article has a pretty good summary of the mission so far and how V1 ended up headed in that direction. It's a long article, so search for "Beyond Titan" if you just want to verify the direction it's currently taking.

That said, the other folks talking about how there just isn't much to see when heading out of the elliptic are the correct ones. It has taken a long time from V1's encounter with Titan for it to be able to do much really useful science. Mostly, it's just cruising through vacuum.