# Is Voyager 40k years from a star?

In summary: LhIn summary, the article states that Voyager 1 will be making a close approach to a star in 40,000 years, but the calculation is incorrect if the star is moving.
Greetings! I read this article on line, where it states that Voyager 1 has an appointment with a star, AC +79 3888, which is 17.6 light years away, in 40,000 years. However, if voyager is traveling at 35,000 mph, that number seems off. Shouldn't it be 319,000 years to travel that distance?

I'm only asking because I only barely know what I'm doing here...

My calculation:

35000 mph = 328,320,000 mp/year
6T / 328,320,000 =18,274 years to travel 1 ly
18,274 * 17.5 = 319,795

http://www.space.com/22783-voyager-1-interstellar-space-star-flyby.html

PS - I'm not accounting for time traveled, since it is only about 18 light minutes.

Greetings! I read this article on line, where it states that Voyager 1 has an appointment with a star, AC +79 3888, which is 17.6 light years away, in 40,000 years. However, if voyager is traveling at 35,000 mph, that number seems off. Shouldn't it be 319,000 years to travel that distance?

I'm only asking because I only barely know what I'm doing here...

My calculation:

35000 mph = 328,320,000 mp/year
6T / 328,320,000 =18,274 years to travel 1 ly
18,274 * 17.5 = 319,795

http://www.space.com/22783-voyager-1-interstellar-space-star-flyby.html

PS - I'm not accounting for time traveled, since it is only about 18 light minutes.

The article states that the probe will approach short of a light year to the star, further, the timeline could still be correct if the star systems is moving towards the projected path of the probe. (I haven't verified it)

The calculation needs to take account of these things.

The probe is also further than 18 light minutes, perhaps you meant hours.

The star mentioned has a radial velocity of ~119 km/s towards the solar system. When you factor that in, you get the 40,000 yr figure ( by the time Voyager passes it, it will only be 1.73 ly from the Solar system.

Geology Erwin
It is perhaps worth pointing out that when Voyager 1 is at its closest to Gliese 445 it's still roughly half-way between the sun and this star.

Janus said:
The star mentioned has a radial velocity of ~119 km/s towards the solar system. When you factor that in, you get the 40,000 yr figure ( by the time Voyager passes it, it will only be 1.73 ly from the Solar system.
Ok. That's cool. Thanks!

Student100 said:
The probe is also further than 18 light minutes, perhaps you meant hours.

Yes. After all, the Earth is about 8 light-minutes from the sun.

So basically the article is a bit misleading by mentioning the the current distance to Gliese 445 by not mentioning that it is moving towards the solar system. Understandable, of course, as it a pop level article.

A couple of you mentioned the question of how far v1 is right now from earth. I got my info from the Voyager odometer:

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/

It lists light round trip time at 37 minutes. That would be 18.5 light minutes distance? Or am I misreading this?

A couple of you mentioned the question of how far v1 is right now from earth. I got my info from the Voyager odometer:

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/

It lists light round trip time at 37 minutes. That would be 18.5 light minutes distance? Or am I misreading this?
Yes you are. The round trip time is 37 hours, 13 minutes, 14 seconds. That's why there's that hh:mm:ss printed below the numbers..

PeroK
SteamKing said:
Yes you are. The round trip time is 37 hours, 13 minutes, 14 seconds. That's why there's that hh:mm:ss printed below the numbers..

Yikes... total brain fart there. Thanks SteamKing

SteamKing said:
Here's a handy table of the time is takes light to reach each of the planets in the solar system after leaving the sun:

http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/q89.html

Note Pluto is about 5.5 light hours from the sun, one-way.
Just for "completion":
Kuiper Belt ≈ 35 - 80 AU ≈ 5 - 11 Lh
Eris ≈ 68 AU ≈ 9.4 Lh
Oort Cloud ≈ 1.6 Ly

## 1. How did Voyager travel 40k years from a star?

Voyager's journey through space began in 1977 when it was launched by NASA with the primary mission of exploring the outer planets of our solar system. Through a series of gravity assists and carefully calculated trajectories, Voyager has been able to travel far beyond our solar system and is now approximately 40,000 years away from the nearest star.

## 2. What is Voyager's current location in relation to a star?

Voyager is currently located in the heliosheath, which is the outermost layer of our solar system where the solar wind meets the interstellar medium. It is about 13.8 billion miles away from Earth and about 11.7 billion miles from the nearest star, Proxima Centauri.

## 3. How does Voyager's distance from a star affect its communication with Earth?

Due to its great distance from Earth, Voyager's communication signals take about 20 hours to reach us. This is because the signals travel at the speed of light and must travel through deep space, which is filled with cosmic dust and gas that can interfere with the signals.

## 4. Will Voyager ever reach another star in its journey?

No, Voyager's current trajectory will not bring it close enough to any other star in its journey. However, it will continue to travel through the vastness of space and could potentially encounter other objects such as comets or asteroids.

## 5. What scientific discoveries has Voyager made on its journey?

Voyager has made numerous scientific discoveries during its journey, including the existence of active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io, the complex structure of Saturn's rings, and the presence of a magnetic bubble around our solar system known as the heliosphere. It has also provided valuable data on the outer limits of our solar system and the conditions of deep space.

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