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Scientists’ predictions for the long-term future of the Voyager Golden Records will blow your mind


The future is a slippery thing, but sometimes physics can help. And while human destiny will remain ever unknown, the fate of two of our artifacts can be calculated in staggering detail.

Those artifacts are the engraved “Golden Records” strapped to NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft, which have passed into interstellar space. Although the spacecraft will likely fall silent in a few years, the records will remain. Nick Oberg, a doctoral candidate at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands, and a colleague wanted to calculate which (if any) stars the two Voyager spacecraft may encounter in the long future of our galaxy.

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