Voyager 2’s 11 billion mile journey at a human scale

Voyager 2’s 11 billion mile journey at a human scale


Imagine if the Earth and Moon were only 1.5 inches away from each other. In reality, it’s over a quarter of
a million miles but that’s the scale we used in order to visualize the ten billion miles that Voyager 2 has traveled. This month marks 40 years that the spacecraft has been traveling on its mission to reach the giant planets of our solar system, and maybe, just maybe, deliver this golden record, containing sounds and images of human life, to any extraterrestrials it might encounter. Since 1977, it’s been traveling through space space at the rate of nearly 35,000 miles per hour. NASA even has a live tracker on their website that tells you just exactly how far it’s gone. But 10,631,811,855 miles… is hard to wrap your head around. So we converted the actual distance to a human scale and headed to Governors Island to visualize just how far away that really is. We started by setting up our cameras 1.5 inches away from one another to represent the distance between the Earth and the moon. The real distance is 239,000 miles. At this scale, the Sun would be about 5.5 inches wide: around the size of a grapefruit and Voyager 2 would be way too tiny to see: around the size of one nanometer. Once we had our cameras set up, I started walking backwards pretending to be Voyager 2 and Tian stayed behind as planet Earth. Within a year, the spacecraft was as far away as Mars. A planet that averages a distance of 50 million miles from Earth. By 1979, Voyager 2 reached Jupiter. Next, it passed by Saturn in 1981 and took this photo of the planet five years Five years later, it was the first spacecraft to visit Uranus and then it moved onto Neptune, which it passed in 1989, the last planet on its journey Since then, Voyager 2 has been been traveling a course to reach interstellar space and it didn’t pass Pluto along the way, and Pluto might not even be a planet anymore, but here’s the distance on this scale, just in case you’re wondering. At this point, Voyager 2 wasn’t even halfway to its current location. So I had to do some traveling. Clearly I wasn’t able to follow the path of the Voyager 2. In fact, I had to take a ferry to get back to Manhattan. But after a boat ride, and over a mile of walking, I reached a point that represents just how far away Voyager 2 really is. But it’s continuing every second. Currently, Voyager 2 is traveling towards Ross 248: a star that it will be 9.7 trillion miles close to in about 40,000 years. Next, it will pass within 30 trillion miles of Sirius: the brightest star in the sky that is over 8 light-years away from Earth. Using my human scale, I would have to travel a distance equal to the whole length of Africa to get to Sirius. In real life, Voyager 2 will reach the star in about 296,000 years. Voyager 2 is only the second farthest human-made object from Earth. Voyager 1 is even farther and has already reached interstellar space. Like Voyager 2, it’s also carrying “The Golden Record” and if you want to see the photos NASA chose to show aliens, make sure to check out this video here.

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Comments

  1. Good comparison but it would be better to include the metric unit as well (only the U.S. and probably some a few countries still use the imperial unit).

  2. Omg 😯 290000 years. I can actually imagine that we will eventually catch up with it. It will be like a museum where people can race alongside it. Or, it becomes intelligent 🤓 and decides to return to find its maker. Hey, that would make a great movie. 🎥. 🤔🚀

  3. Y'all are stupid for complaining about how they didn't use the metric system. Were you planning to catch up to the probe and look at the best ways to save gas along the way or something? Deal with it, as it's an American company and an American probe. If it bothers you, change the measurements on Google from Imperial to Metric. Stop crying.

  4. Comments
    10% "Stop complaining about the imperial system idiots"
    90% idiots complaining about the imperial system

  5. What’s wrong with imperial? Aren’t you guys taught how to use imperial? In America you’re taught how to use metric

  6. Learn to code, maybe then you'll use a REAL system of measurement smh. Also how the fffffffhck are people supposed to comprehend the distances between your crappy land marks? Generalize idiota

  7. "The Sun would be 5.5 inches wide: around the size of a grape fruit" In that case that be one hot grape fruit.

  8. As a Canadian who knows the metric the most well I APPLAUD VOX FOR HAVING THE BALLS TO USE METRIC EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE HAS A HISSYFITT ABOUT IT. Like seriously, what if we went to a YouTube channel from India and spammed the comments saying that english is the world language and they should not speak hindi. Just chill and watch the video and criticize it for it's real problems.

  9. Relax people just because they are using inches and miles does not Change the purpose of this video .To be honest though this video was kinda whack

  10. Why bother, we know nasa will get there computer generated artists to show us what will appeal to us. All done at home on there laptops, The 11 million is the con job.

  11. I’m an American and I do understand the inches feet etc, but I actually understand the metric system, and so does like everyone else, please use the metric system.

  12. I actually cried because i came 2nd place in fortnite and made me rage, so i ask mom if i could have some vbucks.

    she said no.

  13. Who believes this nonsense? Isn't space supposedly dangerous, but this satellite has been traveling in the universe without any devastating incident since 1977? I call BS!
    Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

  14. Poor use of analogy, units of measurement not consistent with global audience standards. I’ve seen better after-school projects done on paper than this.

  15. so then that means by the time futuristic things are created our technology would have greatly outdaded the voyager, making it useless, imagine if we could warp into intersteller space

  16. Isnt the voyager traveling throughly SPACE as fast as a Bullet? The voyager is moving miles and miles you dan predict Seremban IT is in 2020

  17. Great video with the cavemen imperial system, but… any subtitles with the scientific-era metric system or…?

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