On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union announced that it had successfully put the world’s first man-made satellite orbiting the earth into orbit. The successful launch of the first man-made satellite marks the beginning of the era of space exploration.
Compared with 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 stars through astronomical telescopes, we need to send detectors to more distant places for close observation, so that we can have more knowledge of the solar system and the universe.
There are inner galaxies and outer galaxies in the solar system. The inner galaxies mainly refer to the habitable zone, which is the first area detected by human beings. In order to better understand the edge of the solar system and the 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, and their detection capabilities are much more powerful than pioneer. It is through these two probes that human beings have a preliminary understanding of the edge of the solar system and interstellar space.
Voyager 1 accelerated twice through Jupiter and Saturn, reaching a speed of 17 kilometers per second. After 36 years of flight, Voyager 1 crossed the heliosphere and entered interstellar space on September 21, 2013. When Voyager 1 passed through the heliosphere, it sent back important data for human beings. Through these data, we have a preliminary understanding of the real situation of the edge of the solar system.
Voyager 1 went out of the heliosphere and continued to fly forward. Now 43 years later, Voyager 1 is 21.6 billion kilometers away from us, which is the farthest probe in human history. Since 43 years have passed and the Voyager probe will run out of energy, scientists believe that Voyager 1 will completely excuse the earth and become a “Tramp” in the universe in 2025.
The fate of most detectors is to become “vagrants”. Even if they become vagrants, they will continue to move towards the vast depth of the universe until they are captured by the gravity of a celestial body or galaxy. Only when they are captured by the gravity of a celestial body or galaxy, can they possibly go to the final end. Either they will collide with a celestial body and disappear completely, or they will become satellites of a planet and move around all the time .
Of course, in addition to the above results, there is another possible fate for the probe to enter the interstellar space, that is, to be captured by the alien civilization. In fact, this is very easy to understand. If there is a probe of alien civilization across the interstellar space, after a long journey to the solar system, and then captured by the gravity of the earth, then the probe will be obtained by us, so as to determine the existence of alien civilization through this probe.
If it’s an ordinary interstellar probe, we don’t need to worry even if it’s captured by an alien civilization. However, Voyager 1 is not an ordinary interstellar probe. It carries a gold-plated aluminum plate engraved with the exact location of the earth in the galaxy and the images of human men and women. Therefore, Voyager 1 is also the pioneer of human civilization, and it is a bridge that may connect the communication between alien civilizations and human beings.
If an alien civilization discovers Voyager 1, it can understand the existence of earth civilization and the precise coordinates of the earth through the information of this gold record. If this civilization has become an interstellar civilization, it is fully capable of crossing the interstellar space to the solar system in a short period of time and contacting with human beings.
One may ask: what’s the probability that Voyager 1 will be discovered by an alien civilization? For this question, it is difficult for us to give an answer. If we can sail in the interstellar space smoothly in the long interstellar voyage in the future. So the probability of being discovered by alien civilization is very high, not that Voyager 1 will be discovered only when it arrives at a star with civilization.
In fact, as long as it goes out of the solar system and enters the interstellar space, the probability of it being discovered by the alien civilization is increasing. If there are a large number of interstellar civilizations in the universe, then in the interstellar space, the spaceships of the alien civilization are essential, and these spaceships have relatively strong detection ability. As long as Voyager 1 enters the detection range of the spaceship, it is also a high probability of being discovered event.
If Voyager 1 is captured by the discovery of alien civilization, so as to know the existence of the earth and human beings, what consequences will it bring to human beings? Scientists first placed such a gold record on the Voyager spacecraft in the hope of contacting with alien civilizations. Why do scientists expect contact with alien civilizations? It’s not entirely out of curiosity. What’s more important is to expect to establish exchanges with powerful interstellar civilizations and get some interstellar technology, so that human civilization can save a long time and enter the interstellar age faster.
The wish is good, but the reality is often very cruel. Will alien civilization kindly help mankind to develop science and technology? It is not likely that there is still the law of the jungle and all kinds of contradictions and competition within human civilization, so there will also be contradictions and competition between completely different civilizations. Alien civilizations also worry about the development of human civilization, thus threatening their position in the universe.
Scientists once proposed that there might be a “dark forest law” in the universe. They thought that it was very difficult to maintain goodwill among different civilizations. Civilizations would suspect each other and could not communicate with each other. When a civilization discovers another civilization, the first choice is not to communicate, but to judge each other’s meaning, observe secretly, and see the strength and friendliness of this civilization.
The fact that Voyager 1 has been civilized by the outside world is definitely not a good thing. It may also become a big trouble. Alien civilization can learn about the earth, the preliminary situation of human beings and the level of human science and technology through the golden records.
When the alien civilization found that the earth is a planet rich in resources, they need important resources, at the same time, the level of human science and technology is at a low level. So do you think that the earth is such a huge treasure, alien civilization will let it go? If human beings find a treasure in the universe, we will not let it go. Similarly, alien civilization will not let it go. After all, the development of civilization is inseparable from resources.
It is because we know more and more about the universe that we were very worried about putting gold records on Voyager. I believe many scientists are very sorry about this, but it’s useless to regret it any more. With the current level of human science and technology, we can’t catch up with Voyager 1 and take back the gold record. Of course, we should not worry too much. The range of the solar system is much larger than we used to recognize. With the Oort cloud as the boundary, it will take Voyager 1 at least 10000 years to get out.
Ten thousand years of development is enough to make human beings a primary interstellar civilization. At that time, Voyager 1 had not really stepped out of the solar system, so we could catch up and recycle them, so as to avoid the exposure of information about the earth and human beings. Only when we become an interstellar civilization and have the ability to go out of the solar system, can we go to other galaxies to explore the existence of alien civilization. Only with the corresponding strength, can we do the corresponding things, otherwise it is not a blessing, but a disaster.