Blogs by Hilary Hopkins

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September 25, 2013 / Up, Up and AWAY

A few weeks ago, Voyager 1, the little spacecraft that could, did.

That is, did cross over into Another Place, another Space—interstellar space that is, the place between the stars.  Now, instead of mostly particles (don’t ask!) from our local star (named, in grand human fashion, The Sun), she whisks more through particles given off by other stars. 

She travels at about 38,000 miles an hour.  She has traveled about 15.8 million miles since her launch in September of 1977. 

That would seem pretty fast, and pretty far to most of us.  But it will be another THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS before she reaches the far edge of our little solar system, on the other side of what is called the Oort Cloud, a huge region wherein our comets arise.  The Oort Cloud contains trillions of small objects made of different kinds of ices, and maybe even some rocky bits.  It will be a tough transit.

Once Voyager 1, long since without power, passes through the Oort Cloud, she will continue on, traveling through our home in the Universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, forever.

Whatever “forever” means…

Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?  In spite of our countless dreadful deficits, we humans have stupendous imaginations and are superb makers.  What’s out there?  Let’s go see!


Here’s to us, us explorers.  Up! Up!  Away!

 

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/?id=1248 will take you to a lovely small video about her.

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