On October 4, 1957, the first man-made satellite finally got rid of the shackles of the earth and entered space. It marks the official opening of a new era for mankind and the opening of the era of space exploration. When we truly step out of the earth, we will know how vast the universe is and how small the earth is.
For the universe, the earth or even the entire solar system is not even a small dust. Faced with the vast universe, mankind finally has a new goal, which is the sea of stars. The first step in exploring the sea of stars is to explore the mysteries of the entire solar system. For human technology, the solar system is undoubtedly an extremely vast space.
The solar system is the most difficult for us to explore, and the most difficult to truly understand is the conditions at the edge of the solar system. Since our astronomical telescope mainly relies on the reflection of photons, if the target location is too dark and there is no large number of photons, then we will not be able to detect what is here.
Because the edge of the solar system is far away from the sun, the amount of light reaching there is very small, so the edge of the solar system is a dark zone. It is very difficult for us to observe the mysteries there. To explore the mysteries of the edge of the solar system, we need to rely on detectors. By launching the detector and letting it reach the edge of the solar system, we can get more relevant data at close range and have a deeper understanding of the edge of the solar system.
In order to explore the mystery of the edge of the solar system, scientists have launched several interstellar probes. The more famous ones are Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. One reason why these two probes are so famous is that they are The scientific and technological strength is strong enough, it can be said that it has assembled the most powerful various technologies of mankind at that time.
The second reason is because they are not simple interstellar probes, and their target is not the edge of the solar system, but has been moving towards the outside of the solar system. When other interstellar probes reach the edge of the solar system, they will stop, but Voyager will not. Their goal is to get out of the solar system and reach more distant interstellar space.
Why did Voyager go out of the solar system? The important reason is to explore the existence of alien civilization. We must know that when human beings recognize the vastness of the universe, they will also have great expectations for extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrial civilization. From the perspective of the universe, there is basically no doubt about the existence of extraterrestrial civilization, but how can we find them?
The solar system is obviously the only intelligent civilization, human beings. We can only hope outside the solar system if we want to come into contact with alien civilizations. So Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were born. In addition to exploring the edge of the solar system, they also shouldered the mission of going out of the solar system and searching for alien civilizations.
In 1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched into space one after another, heading for the vast starry sky. Since Voyager 1 doesn’t need to make more stops in the middle, its goal is more straightforward, that is, to keep moving towards the edge of the solar system, so its journey is the fastest. By September 12, 2013, it had flown out of the top of the heliosphere and entered interstellar space.
Relatively speaking, Voyager 2 is much slower. The reason is that it is also responsible for important exploration missions in various regions of the solar system. On the way, when passing Jupiter, Saturn, etc., it needs to stop, take pictures and then The data is sent back to the earth.
Therefore, Voyager 2 has the greatest significance for scientists, and it has made the greatest contribution to mankind. Voyager 2 stopped and walked all the way, and finally left the heliosphere on November 5, 2018, formally walked out of the solar system in the narrow sense, and entered interstellar space.
Why are we talking about the solar system in a narrow sense here? The reason is that scientists have discovered through research that the solar system is far larger than previously thought. In the past, we thought that as long as we walked out of the Kuiper belt, we would be outside the solar system. However, later observations discovered that the solar system was still surrounded by the Oort cloud, and only when it passed through the Oort cloud could it be considered as going out of the solar system in a broad sense.
If the Oort Cloud is included, the diameter of the solar system can reach 2 light-years. Voyager 2 walked out of the heliosphere, but walked out of the edge of the solar system in a narrow sense. The outside of the heliosphere and the Oort Cloud are also interstellar. In space, at the speed of the Voyager, this distance may take thousands of light years to enter the Oort Cloud.
Voyager 2 sent back a lot of precious data to the earth during its flight, especially at the edge of the solar system. The data returned is even more precious. Through these data, we know the weird shape of the solar bubble and what happens when the solar radiation at the edge of the solar system meets the interstellar medium?
These data also let us know what the interstellar medium is? It can be said that these precious data give us a better understanding of the solar system and the outside of the solar system, and are important first-hand information. Now that Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space, it has not really lost contact with the earth, and it can still send data back at intervals.
By March 24, 2020, Voyager 2 has reached 18.461 billion kilometers away from us, and its speed has reached 15.3741 kilometers per second. 43 years of flying, a distance of close to 18.5 billion kilometers, this is a location that humans could not imagine in the past. We must know that the distance from the earth to the sun is only 150 million kilometers. Of course, this distance is still insignificant compared to the diameter of the solar system in a broad sense.
After Voyager 2 reached this distance, it began a new round of data transmission. Although the size of the data was only 64 megabytes, it still took several days for the data to be transmitted back because the distance was too far away. Scientists are very much looking forward to the return of the data this time. One reason is that Voyager 2 entered interstellar space. This time the data can allow us to learn more about the situation outside the solar system.
Another reason is that the energy of Voyager 2 is not much, 43 years of flight detection operation is already very old, maybe this is also the last data transmission. The long-awaited data finally came back, but what I got was some messy characters. We know each of these characters, but we don’t know what they mean when they are connected.
With such a result, scientists believe that it may be due to the antenna data which has caused the data to be confused. Although the new data returned by Voyager 2 is very confusing and makes it difficult for us to understand for the time being, scientists still feel very happy. In the later stage, the data may be sorted and cracked by special decoding tools to obtain text information that we can understand.
Every current data transmission of Voyager 2 is very important to scientists. Under the correct circumstances, it will completely lose contact with us after 2025 and become a cosmic junk that can only rely on inertial flight. After many years, if lucky, it will be captured by other star systems and become a satellite.
If you are unlucky, you may collide with other celestial bodies and be destroyed, or be captured by an alien civilization, and then know the existence of human beings based on the earth coordinates left on the golden record above and come to the solar system. It’s just that at that time it was a blessing or a curse for mankind, but it was difficult to say clearly. Friends, do you think that the arrival of alien civilization is a blessing or a curse for mankind? You are welcome to leave a comment below to discuss and express your own opinions and opinions.