Although this infographic is a little dated (Voyager 1 is now officially in interstellar space) it conveys a lot of cool info about what the Voyager 1 is and what instruments this probe contains. In 1977, this little guy was launched from Earth. It studied Jupiter and Saturn and has since been on a trajectory of no certain destination ever since. Its mission now is to just keep exploring farther and farther away from us in interstellar space; the space between stars. It is now the farthest man-made object from us (12 billion miles!). It’s pretty insane to think about, really.
Just a few days ago NASA officially announced that the probe has actually left our solar system. It will be centuries until it reaches another star. So what defines being outside of our solar system? Well, Voyager has an instrument on it that measures ions emitted from the sun. Even though there is no sound in space, the density of ions is read as an acoustic wave via the vibrating plasma around the probe (which you can listen to here). By measuring this data, it is now believed that this density at which it is currently located is outside the gravitational pull of the sun!
So bon voyage, Voyager! Keep rocking out with your golden vinyl and ion-waves!
If you’d like to learn more about the Voyager 1, Radiolab did a great spot on it (listen here)