JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram showing the paths taken by the two Voyager spacecraft. Voyager 1 (orange track) was launched on 5 September 1977; it encountered Jupiter on 5 March 1979 & Saturn on 12 November 1980, then turned sharply & headed out of the Solar System along a path at 90 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic (the plane in which the planets orbit the Sun). Voyager 2 (red track) was launched on 20 August 1977, before Voyager 1; it visited Jupiter on 9 July 1979, Saturn on 25 August 1981, Uranus on 24 January 1986, Neptune on 24/25 August 1989, & is now heading towards the edge of the Solar System. Both Voyagers will travel close to nearby stars in about 40,000 years.
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