What the Voyager Probes Need to See Next: Oort Cloud and Other Stars

  • Voyager 1 & 2 are exploring interstellar, a mysterious region between stars.
  • NASA launched the twin probes in 1977A five-year mission to traverse the solar system.
  • According to the space agency, Voyager 1 should travel 40,000 years to reach another star.

Some 14.8 billion milesFrom Earth, the Voyager 1 probeYou are cruising through the blackness of interstellar medium — the unexplored space between stars. It is the farthest human-made object from our planet.

Voyager 1 & Voyager 2 were launched within 16 days of each other in 1977. Voyager 1 & Voyager 2 had a design life of five years and could be used to study Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus as well as their respective moons.

Now 45 years into their missionThey each broke new ground by stepping outside the bounds of the sun’s influence, also known as the Heliopause.

Both plucky spacecraft continue to send data back from beyond the solar system — and their cosmic journeys are far from over.

solar system heliosphere heliopause termination shock interstellar spacep voyager 1 2 diagram nasa jpl caltech pia22835a_20181206_voyager_in_interstellar_space_annotated_1920x1080_72dpi final

Diagram showing both NASA’s Voyager probes, interstellar space probes, as of November 2018.


Voyager 1 could see Oort Cloud in 300 Years, and Voyager 2 in 296,000 Years could pass by Sirius.

As part of the an ongoing power management effortAs the demand for engineers has increased in recent decades, engineers have been powering off non-technical systems aboard Voyager probes such as their science instruments heaters. This is to ensure that they can continue to operate through 2030.

The probes will cease to be able to communicate with Earth after that.

Even though NASA has shut down its instruments and called the Voyager mission over, the twin probes will continue their journey in interstellar spaces.

In about 300 years’ time, NASA saysVoyager 1 should travel to the Oort Cloud. It is a hypothetical spherical area that contains billions upon billions of frozen comests. It will take another 30.000 years to reach its end.

An illustration of the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud in relation to our solar system.

An illustration of Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt in relation to the solar system.


The spacecraft are traveling in different directions as they venture out into deep space. Voyager 2 is currently only 12.3 billion miles from Earth.

According to Voyager 1, it will take approximately 40,000 years for the Voyager 1 probe to reach AC+793888, a star in constellation Camelopardalis. NASA.

The agency also stated that Voyager 2 will drift by Sirius, which is the brightest star in our sky, in 296,000 years.

“The Voyagers are destined — perhaps eternally — to wander the Milky Way,” NASA said.

Hubble Space Telescope image of Sirius, the brightest star in our nighttime sky.

Hubble Space Telescope image showing Sirius, the brightest star of our nighttime sky.

NASA, ESA (STScI), H. Bond, and M. Barstow, University of Leicester

“It’s truly remarkable that both spacecraft continue to operate,”

The twin spacecraft were built to study the outer solar systems. After completing their primary mission the Voyagers continued to chugging along. They took a grand tour through our solar system and captured stunning cosmic views.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft captured and landed on February 14, 1990. “Pale Blue Dot”Image taken from nearly 4 billion miles away It’s an iconic image that shows Earth in a scattered light ray, and it’s also the farthest spacecraft has captured of Earth.

The iconic "Pale Blue Dot" image taken by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. It shows Earth as a single, bright blue pixel in the vastness of space.

The iconic “Pale Blue Dot”, image taken by Voyager 1 February 14, 1990.


For the last decadeVoyager 1 has been exploring interstellar spaces, which are full of gas, dust and charged energetic particles. Voyager 2In a galaxy interstellar space 2018Six years after its twin, he was able to conceive of it as a new entity.

Their observations of interstellar gases they are moving through have revolutionized the understanding of astronomers of this unexplored area beyond our own cosmic backyard.

“It’s really remarkable that both spacecraft are still operating and operating well — little glitches, but operating extremely well and still sending back this valuable data,” Suzanne Dodd, project manager for the Voyager mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, previously told InsiderAdding, “They’re still speaking to us.”

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