Archive for September, 2013


Posted: September 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Just to give you an idea of how big space is, think on this.

In science fiction, which, when I was growing up, was my favorite type of fiction, our solar system is considered our “neighborhood”. Compared to interstellar space, crossing the solar system is like crossing the neighborhood, or maybe the county. In terms of distances, crossing the solar system is crossing the street, and the nearest star is a bit further.

In 1977 I was in the Army, my youngest had not been born, and I was stationed in Texas (at Ft. Hood). Jimmy Carter was president and inflation was eating away my paycheck. In September of 1977 the spacecraft Voyager was launched. I read today that is has recently (last month) left the solar system.

As I said, just to give you an idea how big “space” is, think on this. This spaceship is traveling away from earth at almost eleven miles per second. It could, if it were in orbit about the earth, go completely around the earth in less than an hour (about 40 minutes).
It has been traveling at that speed for over THIRTY FIVE YEARS and is JUST NOW getting to the edge of the solar system, the edge of the neighborhood. Zooming at over 38,000 miles per hour for over 35 years and it is just getting there! How big is that?