The next time someone tells you they will follow you to the end of the universe, you might wonder where exactly this could be. We are discovering new worlds up there, it would seem. And such endearments could be light years behind actual developments. Researchers say that National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa) Voyager 1 is on the cusp of leaving the solar system and entering interstellar space — between the end of the Sun’s influence and the next star system — at some point in the next two years. This could give time travel a new meaning altogether.
Today, those with obscene amounts of money are booking moon voyages, now they will have to up the ante to keep up with the Joneses.
And with this will come that question that we all love to ask, could there be anybody out there, beyond our solar system? If there are people like us, then we don’t want to know more. But if there are life forms with three heads, the sort we see in comic books who invariably land on earth and tell the nearest human being ‘take me to your leader’, then we are keen.
This discovery will, of course, keep the likes of Steven Spielberg in business for several more years. Why, even Bollywood could attempt a movie on this. That would be something. The hero and heroine floating about in weightless space singing of all things celestial may set the box office cash registers aflutter.
We edit writers have our feet firmly on the ground. But we cannot help but be excited by the fact that there are worlds beyond our solar system. Would life forms up there like to know more about activities on earth? Would they like to know the in and outs of the race for president in India? If they do, all they have to do is send us a signal. We will be on our balconies scanning the skies waiting to hear from.
Just in case you think this is because the heat has got to us, you will not be so sneering when we launch the interplanetary editorial service in the not too distant future.