This visualization tracks the trajectory of the Voyager 1 spacecraft through the solar system. Launched on September 5, 1977, it was one of two spacecraft sent to visit the giant planets of the outer solar system. Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter and Saturn before being directed out of the solar system.
To fit the 40 year history of the mission into a short visualization, the pacing of time accelerates through most of the movie, starting at about 5 days per second at the beginning and speeding up to about 11 months per second after the planet flybys are past.
The termination shock and heliopause are the 'boundaries' created when the plasma between the stars interacts with the plasma flowing outward from the Sun. They are represented with simple grid models and oriented so their 'nose' is pointed in the direction (Right Ascension = 17h 24m, declination = 17 degrees south) represented by more recent measurements from other missions.
With a gravity-assist from the Saturn flyby, Voyager 1 is directed above the plane of the solar system and continues outward. This is near the time of the Voyager 1 'Family Portrait'. The orbit of Pluto is the grey orbit visible above the orbits of the other planets.