Author Topic: The pale blue dot  (Read 361 times)

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Offline Poseidon

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The pale blue dot
« on: April 25, 2012, 03:50:04 PM »
I recently read an article is about space ships Voyager one and Voyager two.. Both were launched 35 years ago. They were believed to have a life expectancy of about five years. Much to our everlasting joy, they're still going. They are so far away, like 15 light hours or so, that their signals are measured in femtowatts which is an unimaginally small signal.

The article detailed the travels of both. Those vehicles have discovered things that we did not know that we did not know.  Each vehicle contains a gold plated copper disc like a very large cd disc. It is expected to be useable for nearly a billion years. Instructions for playback are included in its enclosure. Part of the instructions tell the proper playback speed which is defined in transition time of the hydrogen atom. The disc contains 55 languages, 90 minutes of music ranging from the bell pure tones of pygmy girls singing in the Zaire forest, Beethovens Cavatino, to Chuck Berry's; Johnny Be Goode. The disc suggests that however primitive and ignorant we were, something in us was expansive enough to consider that we were not the only scientists in the universe, nor its only explorers.

Carl Sagan was involved in this early space exploration effort. In 1990, Voyager one looked back to take photos of all our suns planets. The earth took just one pixel. That was Sagans "Pale Blue Dot". He wrote: "Think of all the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emporers so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot"

The article did not mention that the NASA scientists were unconcerned about religious backlash. Messages to another possible intelligent life form are not the stuff of the evangelicals.... Unless the life form is jesus   One more thought crossed my mind because of the verified vastness of this universe.... Bible god was focused on a most incredibly small project when he made the earth.

All those cosmic mysteries out there are yet to be understood or even recognized. I thought of this Voyager saga and the things that they might help us learn after reading the OP in another thread. The writer asked what percentage of  everything did we as individuals think we know. A devious, sophomoric, pissy question, but it made me think.

Offline Quesi

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 07:58:14 PM »
We have corporations that need tax breaks.  The sanctity of capital gains is at risk!  No money for this space foolishness.  Oh.  And the rapture is imminent.  Let's just drill for oil while we are waiting. 

Offline Poseidon

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 08:03:35 PM »
Quesi, you may exclaim; Touche.

Offline Nick

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 08:05:05 PM »
The innovation and free thinking of the 60s, 70s, early 80s made the space program.  I don't think we could ever do it again with the backwards thinking we have evolved into now.  The pale blue dot..."that says it all".
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline Argyle

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 11:22:35 PM »
The scientific advancements were largely fueled by the cold war, so unless we can convince the public that the Taliban is going to beat us to mars... I'm afraid it will be a while before the general public is OK with spending large on science.
Cheers!
-Argyle

Never let yourself be diverted by what you wish to believe, but look only and surely at what are the facts

Offline Nick

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 11:30:29 PM »
Have to agree there.  It's too bad we always have to have a "bad guy" to motivate us.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline velkyn

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 08:59:15 AM »
although I generally find that lies have no use, I sometimes think a "Big Lie", an asteroid will collide with us, aliens are coming, there are Nazis on the moon ( http://www.ironsky.net/ ) , is what is needed to get humans off their collective asses and advancing again.
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline Aerial

Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 09:10:49 AM »
This makes me too sad for words....well sad and inspired.
The most noble of causes for humans, besides feeding our own, would be space exploration.
The 60's were a very special time indeed.
 How sad we now put our money into war for our way of extravagent living.

Offline Argyle

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 07:27:39 PM »
although I generally find that lies have no use, I sometimes think a "Big Lie", an asteroid will collide with us, aliens are coming, there are Nazis on the moon ( http://www.ironsky.net/ ) , is what is needed to get humans off their collective asses and advancing again.

So you and this guy would probably get along well ;)
Cheers!
-Argyle

Never let yourself be diverted by what you wish to believe, but look only and surely at what are the facts

Offline velkyn

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 08:27:54 AM »
yep, Ozymandias is one of those who I was thinking of, though the idea has been around for a long time.   I just despise the Watchmen so I don't use reference to it often.

In my more super villian moments, I do feel that most of humanity does need to be "guided".  but that's not often  ;)
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline Argyle

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 09:46:27 AM »
Velkyn: Do you despise Watchmen the Graphic Novel, or Watchmen as portrayed in the only barely palatable movie adaptation?
Cheers!
-Argyle

Never let yourself be diverted by what you wish to believe, but look only and surely at what are the facts

Offline velkyn

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Re: The pale blue dot
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 09:59:40 AM »
Velkyn: Do you despise Watchmen the Graphic Novel, or Watchmen as portrayed in the only barely palatable movie adaptation?

I actually found the movie a bit more palatable than the graphic novel.  I suppose I should have said I despise Alan Moore in general.  I find him a hack writer who's "great" stories are no more than puerile and venal soap operas with tights and capes (or hmmm, victorian wear) , less interesting than say the X-men, only meant to lower everyone to his level.

and I know, many don't agree with me.  :)

"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/