December 14th, 2010

Caricature

A long way away, but still close

Voyager 1 is beginning to reach the heliopause.

Voyager 1 is moving at 17 km/s - or roughly Mach 50. [*]

It's been travelling outwards for 33 years.

It's now a total of ... 16 light hours away.

The nearest star is approximately 2000 times further away.

Space. It's big.



*mobbsy rightly points out that strictly speaking Mach numbers are meaningless in vacuum. Take this as the shorthand for 'the speed that would be Mach 50 at sea level, under standard conditions'.