Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Voyager 2's 11 billion mile journey at a human scale

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Imagine if the Earth and Moon were only

1.5 inches away from each other.

In reality, it's over a quarter of a million miles

but that's the scale we used in order to

visualize the ten billion miles

that Voyager 2 has traveled.

This month marks 40 years that the spacecraft

has been traveling on its mission to reach

the giant planets of our solar system,

and maybe, just maybe, deliver this golden record,

containing sounds and images of human life,

to any extraterrestrials it might encounter.

Since 1977, it's been traveling through space

space at the rate of nearly 35,000 miles per hour.

NASA even has a live tracker on their website that

tells you just exactly how far it's gone.

But 10,631,811,855 miles...

is hard to wrap your head around.

So we converted the actual distance to a human scale

and headed to Governors Island

to visualize just how far away that really is.

We started by setting up our cameras

1.5 inches away from one another to represent

the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The real distance is 239,000 miles.

At this scale, the Sun would be about 5.5 inches wide:

around the size of a grapefruit

and Voyager 2 would be way too tiny to see:

around the size of one nanometer.

Once we had our cameras set up,

I started walking backwards pretending to be Voyager 2

and Tian stayed behind as planet Earth.

Within a year, the spacecraft was as far away as Mars.

A planet that averages a distance of 50 million miles from Earth.

By 1979, Voyager 2 reached Jupiter.

Next, it passed by Saturn in 1981

and took this photo of the planet five years

Five years later, it was the first spacecraft to visit Uranus

and then it moved onto Neptune,

which it passed in 1989, the last planet on its journey

Since then, Voyager 2 has been been traveling a course

to reach interstellar space

and it didn't pass Pluto along the way,

and Pluto might not even be a planet anymore,

but here's the distance on this scale,

just in case you're wondering.

At this point,

Voyager 2 wasn't even halfway to its current location.

So I had to do some traveling.

Clearly I wasn't able to follow the path of the Voyager 2.

In fact, I had to take a ferry to get back to Manhattan.

But after a boat ride,

and over a mile of walking,

I reached a point that represents

just how far away Voyager 2 really is.

But it's continuing every second.

Currently, Voyager 2 is traveling towards Ross 248:

a star that it will be 9.7 trillion miles close to

in about 40,000 years.

Next, it will pass within 30 trillion miles of Sirius:

the brightest star in the sky

that is over 8 light-years away from Earth.

Using my human scale,

I would have to travel a distance

equal to the whole length of Africa to get to Sirius.

In real life, Voyager 2 will reach the star

in about 296,000 years.

Voyager 2 is only the

second farthest human-made object from Earth.

Voyager 1 is even farther

and has already reached interstellar space.

Like Voyager 2, it's also carrying "The Golden Record"

and if you want to

see the photos NASA chose to show aliens,

make sure to check out this video here.

The Description of Voyager 2's 11 billion mile journey at a human scale