It has been six months since NASA & Voyager 2 spacecraft left the protective bubble around our solar system, known as the heliosphere, and had officially entered the interstellar space, the second time a human-made object has traveled so far.
Voyager 2 followed in the footsteps of its predecessor, Voyager 1, and both devices will eventually be merged into the & # 39; space between the stars & # 39; by the Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 and New Horizons missions.
While all the fuel has been used up and dying, and the earth is losing contact with the vessel (if not yet), they can float further and deeper into space for thousands and even millions of years.
Scientists have now calculated where they expect each of these vessels to end in the course of their respective journeys, starting with our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri.
In particular, Voyager 1 then travels to a very close encounter with the star TYC 3135-52-1, roughly 46.5 light years from the sun, and finally to Gaia DR2 2091429484365218432, which is 520.22 light years away from us – but, it's 3.4 million years before the time comes, says Space.com.
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It has been six months since NASA & # 39; s Voyager 2 spacecraft left the protective bubble around our solar system and officially crossed the interstellar space, marking the second time that a man-made object has traveled so far. Their position in relation to our solar system is shown above
WHAT IS THE HELIOSPHERE?
The sun emits a constant stream of solar material, called the solar wind, which creates a bubble around the planets called the heliosphere.
The heliosphere acts as a shield that protects the planets against interstellar radiation.
Voyager 2 passed the outer edge of the heliosphere on November 5.
This boundary, called the heliopause, is where hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium.
Published in a new study in the journal IOPscience, a duo from NASA and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany have attempted to plot the nearby approaches Voyager 1 and 2 and eventually make Pioneers 10 and 11 into interstellar space.
For everyone but one, Proxima Centauri will be the first flyby – although this will not happen for thousands of years.
Voyager 1 will pass the star in about 16,700 years, although from a distance of about 3.59 light years away, followed by Pioneer 11 in 18,300 years and Voyager 2 in 20,300 years.
Pioneer 10, on the other hand, will first fly past the small star Ross 248, at a distance of about 10.3 light years.
Calculating the path of these ships so far in the future is not a simple task, and the team built on methods they used previously to identify the possible origin of the mysterious interstellar object & # 39; Oumuamua & # 39; to find out.
Voyager 2 followed in the footsteps of its predecessor, Voyager 1, by crossing the heliosphere in December 2018. Both vessels will eventually be merged into the & # 39; space between the stars & # 39; by the Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 and New Horizons missions
& # 39; Although they will not work long before they encounter stars (the Pioneers already), it is nevertheless interesting to ask which stars they will come closest to in the next few million years & # 39 ;, the researchers in the newspaper.
& # 39; We answer this here using the accurate 3D positions and 3D speeds of 7.2 million stars in the second Gaia data publication (GDR2, Gaia Collaboration 2018), supplemented with radial speeds for 222,000 extra stars obtained from Simbad. & # 39;
Although there are some uncertainties, the researchers were able to refine the trajectories to take note of the stars that each vessel would come relatively close to, within 15 parsec (about 50 light years).
In some cases, the scientists expect the vessel to come within 1 hp of certain stars, or a distance of just over 3 light years. All these meetings, however, will take place well into the future.
Scientists have now calculated where they expect each of these vessels to end in the course of their respective journeys, starting with our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri. Artist & # 39; s impressions of Pioneer 10 (left) and Voyager 1 (right) are shown
|Voyager 1||Proxima Centauri||3.46 light years||16,700|
|Voyager 2||Proxima Centauri||2.82 light years||20,300|
|Pioneer 10||Ross 248||3.39 light years||33,800|
|Pioneer 11||Proxima Centauri||3.35 light years||18,300|
Voyager 1 is expected to be within 0.3 pc. Or less than 1 light year from the star TYC 3135-52-1, which is about 46.9 light years away from the sun.
This flyby will take place in about 302,700 years from now.
It will also approach Gaia DR2 2091429484365218432 in approximately 3.4 billion years, within approximately 1.27 light years.
The research emphasizes the extreme voyages that these vessels will make if they go on long beyond our own lives.
& # 39; It was usually a bit of fun & # 39 ;, author Coryn A. L. Bailer-Jones of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy told Space.com.
& # 39; But it also reminds us how long it takes to go to nearby stars at the speed this spacecraft has reached (about 15 km / s relative to the sun). & # 39;
WHAT IS WITHIN THE DISC ON THE VOYAGER PROBES?
Voyager 1 and 2 both have a golden record of the earth with 115 pictures of life on our planet and messages in 59 languages that serve as proof of our civilization.
The 12-inch gold-plated copper disc contains a variety of natural sounds such as waves, wind, thunder, birds, whales, and other animals.
It also has a message from Jimmy Carter who was the American president when the spacecraft was launched.
"This is a gift from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings," he said.
& # 39; We are trying to survive our time so that we can live in yours. & # 39;
Voyager 1 and 2 both have a golden record of the earth with 115 pictures of life on our planet and messages in 59 languages that serve as proof of our civilization. The disc carries a photo from page 6 of Isaac Newton & # 39; s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica Volume 3, The mundi systemate (On the system of the world) (left). It also carries a photo that shows how people feed by licking and eating (right)
The record has a protective aluminum jacket, a catridge and a needle.
& # 39; The spacecraft will be found and it will only be played if there are advanced space-saving civilizations in interstellar space & # 39 ;, said Carl Sagan of Cornell University.
& # 39; But the launch of this bottle in the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet. & # 39;
It also contains a solar map of the earth so that future civilizations can find our planet.
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