The earth is the home of mankind and the cradle of our survival and development. Since ancient times, mankind has been looking forward to the day when we can walk out of this cradle and see the world beyond the earth. And this wish finally came true after mankind entered the era of science and technology.
In 1957, with the rise of the first man-made satellite, mankind entered a new era and ushered in an unprecedented “great space age”. Only when we really walk out of the earth can we see the real face of the earth. Only when you stand in space can you understand the smallness of the earth and the vastness of the universe. After walking out of the earth, the first thing we explored was the moon around us, and in 1969, a manned landing on the moon was realized, which was a great feat for mankind to open the era of large space flight.
Although there is only one moon in the real manned exploration of the planet after human walking out of the earth, the probes invented by human have reached the more distant alien world, and even several probes have gone out of the heliosphere and entered the interstellar space.
We all know that only by going out and going further can we really understand the solar system and the universe. Due to the limitation of various conditions, human beings can’t travel in spaceship for a long time, so the detector has become an important tool for us to understand the secrets of the solar system.
The human probe on Mars, let us have more, more comprehensive understanding of Mars, compared with the mystery of the inner galaxy, the mystery of the solar system edge is more attractive to us. In order to explore the mystery of the edge of the solar system, scientists have sent a number of probes to the edge of the solar system. Five of them have broken through the gravitational shackles of the sun and entered interstellar space. They are Pioneer 10 launched by NASA in 1972, Pioneer 11 launched in 1973, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched in 1977 and new horizon launched in 2006.
Among the five spacecraft flying out of the solar system, Voyager 1 has gone the furthest, reaching a speed of 43.6 kilometers per second after two gravitational accelerations by Jupiter and Saturn. It’s an incredible speed. Even at this speed, it took 36 years for it to fly out of the solar system and into interstellar space.
Voyager 1 flew out of the heliosphere into interstellar space in 2003, and then continued to fly. So far, it has crossed 22.4 billion kilometers. For the current human technology, 22.4 billion kilometers is a very long distance, which is 150 times the distance between the earth and the sun.
Voyager 1 has been keeping in touch with the earth during its voyage for decades. It has sent some precious photos taken along the way back to the earth, so that we can have a better understanding of the solar system. However, as time goes on, Voyager 1 has less and less energy. Although it has not lost contact completely, it can no longer take photos.
Scientists naturally knew this, so in 1990, they issued a command to Voyager 1 to take the last picture of the earth, and then Voyager 1 went into dormancy, which was also to save the last bit of energy. After all, what scientists want to know most is the situation at the edge of the solar system. If we let Voyager 1 work and shoot frequently, then when it reaches the edge of the solar system, its energy will be exhausted, and then we will not be able to get the precious data of the edge of the solar system.
Voyager 1, according to instructions, aimed the imaging system at the earth for the last time, and then sent this precious picture back to the earth through electromagnetic waves, which took 5.5 hours. What’s so special about this last picture that makes scientists think deeply?
We can also take a look at this picture. Its background is dark and fuzzy. The only bright spot on it is the tiny dust spot. In fact, this point in the original picture can’t be seen. After scientists received the picture sent back by Voyager 1, they enlarged the image and then saw this point.
And this point is so bland in the image, but it is the earth where we have lived for millions of years. This is taken from 6 billion kilometers away, and at this point we look back at the earth, tiny as dust, suspended in a dark starry sky. The surrounding dark space seems to devour the earth at any time.
This is the first time that human beings intuitively feel the insignificance of the earth in the distant starry sky. Although cosmonauts often go out of the earth and stand in space to look at the earth, in low earth orbit, the earth we see is relatively large and very beautiful. But when we look at the earth in the starry sky 6 billion kilometers away, it has lost its beauty. We can only see a tiny point like dust.
One point carries more than 7 billion human beings and the starry sky dream of human beings. If it is not for human beings to walk out of the earth and see the vastness of the universe, it is estimated that no one believes that human beings actually live in a tiny dust. I believe many friends have heard of “one sand, one world, one flower, one paradise”, which tells us that a grain of sand can contain a world, and a piece of flower can also contain a world.
Before human beings go out of the earth, we just praise the world with one flower. We don’t think that the earth where human beings live is similar to a grain of sand. But through the last photo taken by Voyager 1, we really understand what a world of flowers is. From the perspective of the universe, the earth is a grain of sand, the solar system is a grain of sand, and the Milky way is also a grain of sand.
If in the future it is proved that there is space beyond the universe and that there is pluralistic cosmology, then in our eyes, the vast universe may be as small as a grain of sand in the world outside the universe. Through this picture, we also deeply feel the danger of the universe, the earth is too small, and human beings are now protected by the earth.
However, compared with the universe, the earth is also very fragile. Once there is danger, the earth will not be able to protect human beings. If human beings want to get away from the protection of the earth and in turn protect the mother earth, they need more powerful science and technology. Only with more powerful science and technology can we go further and understand more mysteries of the universe.
At the same time, we should also understand that although human beings are intelligent life and have entered the era of science and technology, we have nothing special and nothing to be proud of. There is so much dust like the earth in the universe that it is impossible to estimate the number of alien civilizations. Human civilization has only developed for more than 5000 years, while alien civilization may have developed for tens of thousands of years, hundreds of millions of years, and its strength is far beyond our imagination.
Only by striving to develop science and technology, can the destiny of human beings be in their own hands, and they have the ability to overcome danger with science and technology. Although the earth is small in the universe, human beings are great. Even though we are still very small now, as long as we are given enough development time, we believe that one day, human beings will become the star civilization and the overlord of the universe.