As of November 2020, Pioneer 10 is the 2nd most distant spacecraft from the Sun and Voyager 2 is the 3rd.

However Voyager 2's heliocentric velocity is significantly higher than Pioneer 10 and it seems destined to overtake it sooner rather than later.

When will that date come?


1 Answer 1


There is useful current data at Heavens Above. The relevant bit is

Voyager 2 is currently (Nov 2020) 125.4 AU from the Sun travelling at 3.231 AU/year, and Pioneer 10 at 127.2 AU and 2.512 AU/yr.

So we expect them to change places in the list in $$\frac{127.2-125.4}{3.231 - 2.512} = 2.50\quad\mathrm{ years}$$ so roughly May 2023.


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