Above are pictures from NASA showing the information disk on Voyager 1.
On September 12 of this year, NASA announced that last August 25, 2012 Voyager 1 left the Solar System.
The solar system, the galaxy and the universe
One of the things that I wondered about as a child watching the first space flights, was that when the astronauts went into space no one seemed to worry about them colliding with stars. What I later learned, as all of you know, is that our sun is a star, and all of the other stars or suns that are in space in the Milky Way Galaxy are very, very far away from us. However, it is hypothesized as likely that stars other than our own sun also have planets orbiting them, and on some of these planets other intelligent life may have arisen. It is with this thought that information about our planet was sent on Voyager 1. NASA estimates that Voyager 1 will travel for 40,000 years before it comes within 1.6 light years of another star. Just as the galaxy is made up of millions of stars, the universe is made up of millions of galaxies. These galaxies are even further apart than the nearest stars.
Star Trek makes things confusing
A factor confusing our understanding of the mission of Voyager 1 is that, since the 1960s in the Star Trek TV show and following movies, the characters seem to be believably traveling around the galaxy, entering into solar systems and stopping by on Class M planets (planets that can support our type of life) aseasyaspie. Soitgetstobeabitofadownertofindoutthatallthatwecandonowislaunchasmall ship and wait 36 years for it to leave our solar system, hoping that it might encounter another solar system in the next 40,000 years.
What will happen if Voyager 1 finds another solar system and is discovered by some intelligent life? First, the finders will have to decipher the information that Voyager 1 is carrying about us. It should be pretty simple because the information is presented with keys to understand it. Also a lot of it is in picture form. This all assumes that the intelligent life that Voyager 1 finds can see and hear.
It is possible that an intelligent life form will find Voyager 1, interpret our information and then communicate with us. Of course we won’t be here, but some sort of life will be.