Voyager-1 has left the solar system, but what message is it carrying to the stars?
Date published: 26th September 2013
Launched 36 years ago in September 1977, the Voyager-1 spacecraft (alongside its twin, Voyager-2) was built to carry out a Planetary Grand Tour.
Now, after travelling almost 19 billion kilometres (12bn miles) from Earth, Voyager-1 has become the first man-made object to leave the solar system. But it’s not just sending back signals to Earth, Voyager-1 is also carrying a present for anyone who finds it: the Voyager Golden Record.
American astronomer Carl Sagan described the inclusion of the Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft as launching a message in a bottle “into the cosmic ocean”: “[it] says something very hopeful about life on this planet”.
Encoded on the disc is a compilation of sounds and images intended to encapsulate the diversity of life on Earth, as well as outline humanity’s basic knowledge of physics, chemistry and astronomy.
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