Tuesday, January 25, 2011

4 American Songs That Have Left Our Solar System

Night Chant
Navajo Tribe

Melancholy Blues
Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven

Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground
Blind Willie Johnson

They (and the song below) are among the sounds inscribed 
on a gold-plated copper phonograph album aboard 
the interstellar probe Voyager 1 
which NASA launched in 1977.

It left our solar system, is 10.8 billion miles away, 
and is traveling at 38,185 miles per hour. In 40,000 years
it will reach star AC+79 3888 in the constellation Camelopardalis.

In 2007, this intrepid jukebox passed the point of 
"termination shock" where the solar wind slows dramatically. 
It is now in "heliopause," a theoretical region
where the sun's "wind" is blocked by
the "interstellar medium," the gas and dust of interstellar space.
It is expected to leave heliopause in 2014.

As a great poet once observed, 
"Many people will come from miles around
To hear you play your music
When the sun goes down.
Maybe someday your name will be in lights..."