How long would it take Voyager 2 to be one light-year away from Earth?

This American probe is the third farthest from Earth artificial object; it is separated from our planet by a distance of 125 astronomical units (a.e. - the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, equal to 150 million km). Only Voyager 1 (152 a.e.) and Pioneer 10 (128 a.e.) are further away than Voyager 2. However, the speed of Pioneer-10 in relation to the Sun is slightly lower than that of Voyager-2: 11.9 km/sec versus 15.4 km/sec, so the latter device will outrun Pioneer in a few years and take second place in the list of "most distant from the Earth artificial objects".


One light-year equals 63,241 astronomical units, or 9.461 trillion kilometers. Voyager 2 and our planet are now separated by nearly 20 billion kilometers. So from 9.5 trillion, subtract 20 billion, we get ... still about 9.5 trillion.


If we want to know how long it takes Voyager 2 to move away by 1 light year, we need to divide this distance by the speed: 9.5 trillion km / 55,000 km/h (assuming that the probe speed remains unchanged). We get 172 172 172 hours. We divide this number by 24 to find the number of days, and then we divide it again by 365 to find the number of years. In the end, we see the number is 19,654 years.


For reflection. The closest star to Earth, not counting the Sun, is Proxima Centauri, 4.2 light years away. The center of the Milky Way Galaxy is 26,000 light years away from our planet. If Voyager 2 had flown to Proxima Centauri, the probe's journey would have taken just over 82,000 years (the time it takes the spacecraft to travel one light-year is 19,654 times the distance to the nearest star - 4.2).

"Voyager 2, like the other 4 probes (Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, and New Horizons), were launched on trajectories that allow them to leave the solar system. All of these spacecraft are now traveling at a speed that will help them overcome the Sun's gravity and reach interstellar space.


It is not known exactly where the Solar System ends. According to experts, beyond the boundaries of the Oort Cloud, the hypothetical region that serves as the "home" of long-period comets. The length of the "cloud" can be trillions of kilometers. It turns out that Voyager 2 will leave the solar system in a few tens of thousands of years.


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