Finally, We are FAR FAR AWAY

golden_record_cover_sm.jpgFinally, a part of mankind is really far away, beyond the solar system. On September 12, 2013, NASA confirmed that Voyager 1, a space exploration craft, had left the solar system and entered interstellar space which is about 12 Billion Miles from earth. Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977 and was sent on a mission to observe the solar system. Visiting both Saturn and Jupiter(and one of it's moons,) Voyager I is the first man made object to exit the solar system.(Harwood,2013) 

Today, Voyager is confirmed leaving the solar system, while it actually entered interstellar space sometime last year. The Voyager Team calculated that the spacecraft entered interstellar space by using the measurements of oscillations in the plasma surrounding the space craft. These oscillations were caused by an ejection of sun particles almost year before Voyager I felt the vibrations itself.(NASA, 2013)

What I think is really interesting is that on Voyager 1, is a snippet of the world. A "Golden Record" is stored on the craft and contains the essence of human life. Curated by Dr. Carl Sagan, the record contains the sights and sounds of our world; recordings of natural sounds and analog images. With greetings in over 50 languages and a message from President Jimmy Carter(President at the time of the launch,) this little disk floats in the vast void of space. The disk was included with the smallest hope that one day, another alien civilization will find it.(The Golden Record) 

I think its cool to think about what I would put on my own golden record if it were to be ejected into interstellar space. Maybe I would include an episode of FRIENDS, or scientific information about human biology. What would you put on your golden record? 


What a great blog post! I am glad someone chose to write about this topic. It is so interesting/almost unfathomable to think that we are now exploring past the solar system. What I can't wrap my head around is that it entered interstellar space last year and were just finding out now because of the way time travels! I agree with you - the idea of a Golden Record is fascinating. They are recorded onto phonographs because the voyager was launched in 1977. I don't know what I would put on a Golden Record myself - maybe a movie - Disney's Earth?

I agree Callie, this is a great post. I read about this on the front cover of the New York Times paper this morning. "It takes 17 hours and 22 minutes for Voyager's signals to reach NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory." -Brooks Barnes.

Also, Voyager 1 "is 11.7 billion miles from Earth and hurtling away at 38,000 miles per hour." -Brooks Barnes

This is such an exciting event. It's hard to believe, but so cool to think about. "The next big encounter for Voyager 1, in around 40,000 years, is expected to be a dwarf star dispassionately known as AC+793888 in the constellation of Camelopardalis."
-Brooks Barnes

Thanks for the post!

I first learned about the Golden Record watching a Star Trek documentary special on TV. It's wonderful to hear this update. Voyager 1 has not reached the Oort cloud, which orbits the sun, so technically it has yet to leave the solar system entirely; Voyager's not expected to pass the Oort cloud for another 30,000 years. Still, it's an exciting accomplishment that it's gotten as far as it has. Apparently its sister craft Voyager 2 is not far behind.,0,7950328.story

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