The trouble with being an archaeologist (well ONE of the troubles, for there are, of course, a great many) is that when listening to / reading / examining the news one often gets caught up in those stories that are explicitly archaeological, relating to artefacts / monuments and the distant past (treasure, heritage policy, 'major' discoveries etc.), whilst missing the 'big stories'; those which ultimately have a large impact, not just upon the profession, but also upon the way in which humanity is leaving its mark upon the cosmos.
Let me explain.
Voyager 1, the probe fired from planet Earth on September 5th 1977 (confusingly, for the numerically-challenged such as myself, Voyager 2 had been launched two weeks earlier) in order to observe Jupiter and Saturn, has, it was announced by NASA in March, now officially moved away from the gravitational pull of our Sun and as is, as we speak, drifting off into the unknown.
I missed this particular story at the time, partly because it was not ostensibly archaeological, but mostly because I was bogged down marking several thousand assignments (and very interesting they were too). Looking back, the news reports concerning the departure of NASA’s probe were all very dramatic, the reporters concerned being animated and extremely excited (certainly more so than when they had been reporting on the discovery of horse meat in lasagne).
The significance of this event is, from an archaeological perspective, of course that human material culture has now passed beyond the limits of our own, rather parochial, system of planets, moons and other pieces of space rock. Voyager 1 has left the solar system and humanity's archaeological 'footprint' now extends beyond the reach of Sol.