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Voyager 1 - Our First Journey Into Interstellar Space

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1's mission was to bring back information from the planets in our solar system. For anyone old enough, who can forget the spectacular photographs of Jupiter and Saturn in particular? NASA announced, on September 12th, 2013, that Voyager 1 has become the first manmade object to leave our solar system.

Now, Voyager 1 has gone way beyond Pluto and is no longer being affected by particles from the Sun. It is between the stars, and Beethoven, Chuck Berry and the sounds of whales and birds are floating in interstellar space.

Though only a machine, it's easy to feel an emotional attachment to Voyager 1. It carries information that encapsulates our planet, representing all life on Earth, and, indeed, us. So, part of us is now in interstellar space on its way to another star. As every living thing owes its existence to the stardust that created it we could be said to be going home.

One awe-inspiring thought is that Voyager 1 will take 40,000 years to reach the next star. However, if the human race is still around then humans may be technologically advanced enough to have overtaken Voyager 1 maybe millennia before!

- Paul Rance,


Messier 82 Galaxy
The Beautiful Messier 82 Galaxy
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)
More astonishing photographs of distant galaxies are available at


BOOKS ABOUT ASTRONOMY AND SPACE available from - in association with

Pocket Guide to Stars and Planets (Collins Pocket Guide)
~Ian Ridpath, Wil Tirion (Illustrator)
Paperback - February 5, 2001
The Sun: A Biography The Sun: A Biography
~David Whitehouse
John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Hardcover - November 19, 2004
There's No Place Like Space: All about Our Solar System (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library (Hardcover))
~Tish Rabe, et al
Random House Books for Young Readers
Hardcover - October 1, 1999
BOOKS ABOUT ASTRONOMY AND SPACE available from - in association with
Product photo Big Bang: The Origin Of The Universe
Simon Singh
Product photo The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
Guillermo Gonzalez
Product photo Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy
Thomas T. Arny



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