18.5 billion kilometers away, Voyager 2 sent back valuable data, but no one could understand it

On October 4, 1957, the first man-made satellite finally got rid of the shackles of the earth and entered space. It marks the beginning of a new era for human beings and the era of space exploration. When we really step out of the earth, we will know how vast the universe is and how small the earth is.

For the universe, the earth and even the entire solar system are not even a small grain of dust. Facing the vast universe, human beings finally have a new goal, that is, the star sea. The first step to explore the sea of stars is to explore the mystery of the entire solar system. For human science and technology, the solar system is undoubtedly a vast space.

The solar system is the most difficult for us to explore, the most difficult to really understand is the edge of the solar system. Because our telescopes mainly rely on the reflection of photons, if the target location is too dark, there are not a lot of photons, then we can not detect what is there.


Because the edge of the solar system is far away from the sun, the amount of light there is very small, so the edge of the solar system is a dark area, we want to observe the mystery there, it is very difficult. If we want to explore the mystery of the edge of the solar system, we need to rely on the detector. By sending the detector to the edge of the solar system, we can get more relevant data from a short distance, so as to have a deeper understanding of the edge of the solar system.

In order to explore the mysteries of the edge of the solar system, scientists have launched several interstellar probes, among which Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are more famous. One of the reasons why these two probes are more famous is that their scientific and technological strength is strong enough, which can be said to be a collection of the most powerful technologies of human beings at that time.

The second reason is that they are not simple interstellar probes, and their target is not the edge of the solar system, but always moving out 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 leave the solar system? The important reason is to explore the existence of alien civilization. We need to know that when human beings realize the vastness of the universe, they have a very big vision for extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrial civilization. From the perspective of the universe, there is no doubt about the existence of extraterrestrial civilization, but how can we find them?

Obviously, there is only one intelligent civilization in the solar system. If we want to get in touch with alien civilizations, we can only place our hopes outside the solar system. So Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were born. In addition to exploring the edge of the solar system, they also shoulder the task of going out of the solar system and searching for alien civilizations.

In 1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched into the sky one after another, heading for the vast starry sky. Voyager 1 is the fastest because it doesn’t need to stay in the middle for more time. Its goal is more direct, that is, to keep moving towards the edge of the solar system. By September 12, 2013, it had flown out of the top of the heliosphere and into interstellar space.


Relatively speaking, Voyager 2 is much slower, because it also undertakes important exploration tasks in various regions of the solar system. On the way, when it passes through Jupiter, Saturn and other places, it needs to stop, take photos, and then send the data back to the earth.

Therefore, Voyager 2 has the greatest significance for scientists, and it has also made the greatest contribution to mankind. Voyager 2 stopped and walked all the way. Finally, on November 5, 2018, Voyager 2 left the heliosphere and formally stepped out of the narrow sense of the solar system and entered interstellar space.

Why is the solar system in a narrow sense here? The reason is that through research, scientists have found that the scope of the solar system is much larger than previously thought. In the past, we thought that as long as we get out of the Kuiper belt, we will be out of the scope of the solar system. However, the observation later found that the solar system is still surrounded by the Oort cloud, and only when it passes through the Oort cloud can it be regarded as really coming out of the solar system in a broad sense.


If you include the Oort cloud, the diameter range of the solar system can reach 2 light-years. Voyager 2 came out of the heliosphere, only out of the edge of the solar system in a narrow sense. Between the outer heliosphere and the Oort cloud is also interstellar space. At the speed of Voyager, it may take thousands of light-years to enter the Oort cloud.

Voyager 2 has sent back a lot of precious data to the earth during its flight, especially at the edge of the solar system. Through these data, we know the strange shape of the solar bubble and what happens when the solar radiation on 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 enable us to have a better understanding of the solar system and beyond. They are important first-hand information. Now Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space, and it has not really lost contact with the earth, and it is still able to send back data at intervals.


By March 24, 2020, Voyager 2 will be 18.461 billion kilometers away from us, with a speed of 15.3741 kilometers per second. 43 years of flight, close to 18.5 billion kilometers, this is a location that human beings did not dare to imagine in the past. We should know that the distance between the earth and the sun is only 150 million kilometers. Of course, this distance is still insignificant compared with the diameter of the solar system in a broad sense.

After Voyager 2 arrived at this distance, a new round of data transmission began again. Although the size of the data is only 64 megabytes, it still takes several days for the data to be transmitted back because the distance is too far away. Scientists are very much looking forward to this data transmission. One reason is that Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space. This data can let us know more about the situation outside the solar system.

Another reason is that Voyager 2 is running out of energy. After 43 years of flight detection operation, Voyager 2 is very old. Maybe this time is also the last data transmission. The expected remote data finally came back, but what we got was some messy characters. We know each of these characters, but we don’t know what they mean when they are connected.


The scientists think that the data of the antenna may lead to the confusion of the data. Although the new data sent back by Voyager 2 is very confusing and difficult to understand for the time being, scientists are still very happy. In the later stage, we may use special decoding tools to sort out and crack the data, and get the text information that we can understand.

Voyager 2’s current data transmission is very important for scientists. Under the right circumstances, Voyager 2 will lose contact with us after 2025 and become a space junk that can only rely on inertial flight. After many years, if you’re lucky, it will be captured by other star systems and become a satellite.

If you are not lucky, you may collide with other celestial bodies and destroy them, or be captured by alien civilizations, and then know the existence of human beings and come to the solar system according to the earth coordinates left on the gold record above. At that time, however, it was difficult to say whether human beings were good or bad. My friends, do you think that the arrival of alien civilization is a blessing or a curse to mankind? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.


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