On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union announced that it had successfully put the world’s first artificial satellite orbiting the earth into orbit. The successful launch of mankind’s first artificial satellite marks that mankind has officially stepped out of the earth and opened the era of space exploration.
Compared to the earth, the vast universe is too big for us to imagine. In such a wide range, it is not easy for us to explore. In addition to observing the starry sky through astronomical telescopes, we also need to send detectors to more distant places for close observations, so that we can have more knowledge of the solar system and the universe.
The solar system has inner galaxies and outer galaxies. The inner galaxy mainly refers to the range of the habitable zone, which is the first region to be explored by humans. The outer galaxy is far away from us and is a blind spot for human exploration. In order to better understand the edge of the solar system and the situation of interstellar space, scientists launched Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 in 1972.
Then, in 1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched. They are more advanced interstellar probes with a variety of detection capabilities that are much stronger than the Pioneer. It is through these two probes that mankind’s preliminary knowledge of the edge of the solar system and interstellar space is also used.
Voyager 1 accelerated through Jupiter and Saturn twice, reaching a speed of 17 kilometers per second. After 36 years of flight, it crossed the heliosphere on September 21, 2013 and entered interstellar space. When Voyager 1 passed through the heliosphere, it sent back important data for humans. Through these data, we have a preliminary understanding of the real situation at the edge of the solar system.
Voyager 1 went out of the heliosphere and continued to fly forward. Now 43 years have passed. It is 21.6 billion kilometers away from us. This is the farthest probe in human history. Since 43 years have passed, the energy of the Voyager probe will also be exhausted. Scientists believe that Voyager 1 will be completely separated from the Earth in 2025 and become a “wanderer” in the universe.
The destiny of most probes is to become a “wanderer”. Even if they become a wanderer, they will continue to move towards the depths of the vast universe until they are captured by the gravity of a certain celestial body or galaxy. In the end, it either collides with a certain celestial body and disappears completely, or it becomes a satellite of a certain planet, and it keeps moving around.
Of course, in addition to the above ending, there is another possible destiny for the probe entering the interstellar space, that is, being captured by an alien civilization. In fact, this is also very easy to understand. If there is a probe of alien civilization that also crosses the interstellar, comes to the solar system after a long journey, and then is captured by the gravity of the earth, then this probe will be obtained by us, and through this detection The device determines the existence of alien civilizations.
If it is an ordinary interstellar probe, even if it is captured by an alien civilization, we don’t need to worry, but Voyager 1 is not an ordinary interstellar probe. It carries a gold-plated aluminum plate on which the earth is engraved. The exact location in the galaxy, and the images of human males and females. Therefore, Voyager 1 is also a pioneer of human civilization and a bridge that may connect the exchanges between alien civilization and humans.
If an alien civilization discovers Voyager 1, the information from this golden record can understand the existence of earth civilization and also know the precise coordinates of the earth. If this civilization has become an interstellar civilization, then it is fully capable of crossing the interstellar to the solar system in a short period of time to come into contact with humans.
Someone may ask: What is the probability of Voyager 1 being discovered by an alien civilization? It is difficult for us to give an answer to this question. If we can sail smoothly in interstellar space in the long interstellar voyage in the future. Then the probability of being discovered by an alien civilization is still very high. It does not mean that it will be discovered only when Voyager 1 reaches an interstellar with civilization.
In fact, as long as you step out of the solar system and enter the interstellar space, the probability of it being discovered by alien civilizations will continue to increase. If there are a large number of interstellar civilizations in the universe, then in interstellar space, the spacecraft of alien civilizations are indispensable. These interstellar spacecraft have relatively powerful detection capabilities. As long as Voyager 1 enters the spacecraft’s detection range, it is also a high probability event to be discovered.
If Voyager 1 is discovered and captured by an alien civilization, and thus knows the existence of the earth and humans, what consequences will it bring to humans? Scientists initially placed such a golden record on the Voyager spacecraft in order to hope to be able to come into contact with alien civilizations. Why do scientists expect to be in contact with alien civilizations? It’s not entirely out of curiosity. More importantly, I hope to establish communication with a powerful interstellar civilization and get some interstellar technology, so that human civilization can save a long time and enter the interstellar era faster.
Desires are beautiful, but reality is often very cruel. Will alien civilizations kindly help humans develop technology? This possibility is unlikely. Human civilization still exists within human civilization, and there are all kinds of contradictions and competitions. Then there will also be contradictions and competitions between completely different civilizations. Alien civilizations also worry about the development of human civilization, thereby threatening their status in the universe.
Scientists once proposed that there may be a “dark forest law” in the universe, and believed that it is very difficult to maintain goodwill among different civilizations, and civilizations will be suspicious and unable to communicate with each other. When a civilization discovers another civilization, the first choice is not to communicate, but to judge the other’s meaning first, observe secretly, and see the strength and friendliness of this civilization.
Voyager 1 being an alien civilization is definitely not a good thing, and it may become a huge trouble and bad thing. Alien civilizations can learn about the earth through the golden record, understand the preliminary situation of humans, intelligent life forms, and at the same time understand the level of human science and technology.
When alien civilizations discovered that the earth is a resource-rich planet, there are important resources they need, and at the same time the human science and technology level is at a low level. So do you think that the earth is such a huge treasure that the alien civilization will let it go? If mankind finds a treasure in the universe, we will not let it go, and the alien civilization will not let it go. After all, the development of civilization is inseparable from resources.
It is precisely because we have more and more knowledge about the universe that the placement of golden records on the Voyager was something that worries us very much. I believe that many scientists also regret this, but it is useless to regret it. With the current level of human technology, we cannot catch up with Voyager 1 to recover the golden disc. Of course, let’s not worry too much. The solar system is much larger than previously recognized. With the Oort Cloud as the boundary, it will take at least 10,000 years for Voyager 1 to go out.
Ten thousand years of development time is enough for humans to become a primary interstellar civilization. At that time, Voyager 1 had not really left the solar system. We could catch up and recycle them, thus avoiding the exposure of the earth and human information. Only by becoming an interstellar civilization and having the ability to actively go out of the solar system can we go to other galaxies to explore the existence of alien civilizations. Only with the corresponding strength can you do the corresponding things, otherwise it is not a blessing, but a disaster.