posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 07:29 AM
Originally posted by Philosophile
If Voyager I is at the edge of our solar system, and our solar system is roughly 100 light years across, then shouldn't it take around 100 years for
us to receive any signal from Voyager 1 to pick up any picture transmission? I'm JUST asking because I don't know either that's just my idea.
First of all, the solar system is NOT 100 light years across. If you made a bubble 100 light years across (a 50 light year radius) with the earth at
its center, it would encompass about 2000 other stars --150 of those stars being sun-like stars.
Voyager is not that far out, and is nowhere near any other stars. The nearest star in 4 light years away. It would take Voyager 1 about 17,000 years
to travel even ONE light year. Voyager is NOT heading toward that closest star, but if it was, it would take 75,000 years to get there.
Here is how far the two Voyager spacecraft are from Earth right now:
-- Voyager 1 is 0.0019 light years away -- or 17 "light hours" away.
-- Voyager 2 is 0.0016 light years away -- or 14 "light hours" away.
And to answer "Then how big IS the solar system"...
The size of the solar system is not an easy thing to define. There is not just one definition of the "size of the solar system".
The edge of the heliosphere (where Voyager 1 is right now) is only one
definition. If you also count the obits of comets around the
sun, then the solar system is 1.5 light years in diameter.
Using that definition, the edge of the solar system is much, much farther out than Voyager 1. It will take Voyager about 12,000 years to get past the
last of our solar system's comets.