After an epic journey by any standard, Voyager 1 is leaving the solar system, forever. And with that we stand, collectively, on the cusp of being just barely an interstellar species:
It’s hard to overstate the milestone: At some point in the near future — it could be days or months, possibly, but not likely even a few years — Voyager is expected to break away from the bubble of particles emitted by the Sun encasing our solar system and enter the totally new, completely unexplored region of interstellar space, the black void separating us from the other star systems in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Just in case, the plucky little spacecraft carries a plaque and a golden record telling some of our terrestrial story. It includes
over 100 beautiful images and related sounds, like surf, wind, and thunder, the songs of birds and whales, musical selections from different cultures and eras, and greetings in 59 human languages.
- When worlds collide? The idea of planetary migration, which would help explain some oddities cropping up in exosolar systems, got a bit of a boost this week when a giant planet was detected orbiting danger-close to a more earthlike world.
- Who are Thunderf00t and Aron-Ra? Answer: two brilliant, highly successful science vloggers with a passion for free expression and rationalism who have joined us at FreeThoughtBlogs.
- Science blogger Liz Borkowski compares and contrasts two states' approach to health insurance for all. Romney can run, but he can't hide from the facts: Romneycare works better, just like the ACA will work better. Unless a few conservative judges condemn millions of innocent Americans to needless pain, suffering and death next week.