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Emissaries to the Stars
Written & published: August 2007
These are the five spacecraft which are on course to head out of the Solar System. The furthest away of these is Voyager I. Travelling at nearly a million miles per day, it is currently over 103 Astronomical Unites (AU) away from the Sun. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 1AU, approximately 93 million miles. Pioneer 10 is the next furthest away, at nearly 94AU, travelling in almost completely the opposite direction to Voyager 1.
The two Voyager probes carry the famous metal 'time capsule' records depicting our Solar System and carrying various sounds of life on Earth, in case they are found by other life forms who have the time and inclination to play them!
These are the current positions of the spacecraft viewed against the backdrop of the Zodiac Signs:
Being the most distant, Voyager I carries humankind's aspiration to travel outside our Solar System, beyond our local neighbourhood, out into interstellar space. It will be the first human-made object to venture outside our Solar System, to reach the outer limits of the Sun's radiating bubble and travel across the threshold.
It's fitting that it's in the Sign of Sagittarius, which is traditionally associated with long distance travel, and expansion of consciousness to encompass ever broader horizons, reaching beyond the known, the familiar, and the nearby. Who knows whether or not these Sign positions have any significance. They're interesting to contemplate.
Website showing the astronomical positions for the five spacecraft
Image showing the Voyager positions at the edge of the Solar System
Information about the golden records on Voyager I and II
Pale Blue Dot - a photo of Earth taken from over 4 billion miles away
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