On this day 7 years ago, the Voyager 1 space probe finally bid farewell to our Solar System. Since then, it has been traveling through the region astronomers call Interstellar Space.
Interstellar Space is a vast region that exists right outside our Solar System.
Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager 1 is now the farthest man-made object from Earth. As it travels at an average of 17 Kilometers per second, Voyager is now 14 Billion kilometers away from Earth.
Throughout its lonely 42 year sojourn through space, Voyager 1 has already lost a number of capabilities. And while the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) claims that at least one tool will still be operating by 2025, we will still have observer status until 2036. After 2036, the space probe will be floating through space on its own.
Interestingly, the Voyager 1 Space Probe carries a vinyl record that introduces the Planet Earth to potential alien civilizations. The recording includes a greeting by notable astrophysicist Carl Sagan, as well as sounds of nature in the Earth. A gold-plated photo is also present on the space probe in the hope that whoever would see it would have an understanding of our way of life. However, no encounter has ever occurred.
Despite its current distance, Voyager 1 is still not even an inch away from the front porch. At its current speed, it would still take 38,000 years for the probe to be within 1.7 light-years of the closest star in the Ursa Minor constellation. At this rate, we can only stand in awe of the grand scheme of the universe.