Tag Archives: Carl Sagan

Dear ET

Math on Voyager’s Golden Record Tells a Story

Voyager 1
Copies of the Golden Record, sent journeying into deep space on the sides of the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes in 1977, carries the sounds and music of Earth as well as a series of images to help characterize it.

     The Voyager 1 probe, which launched 40 years ago today (Sept. 5), is humankind’s most distant physical emissary, at almost 13 billion miles (21 billion kilometers) from Earth. Voyager 1 and its sister-spacecraft, Voyager 2, which launched two weeks earlier in 1977,
By Sarah Lewin

gave scientists their first close-up views of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. And the spacecraft famously carried with them what could be aliens’ first views of Earth, its inhabitants and their culture: copies of the Golden Record.

The astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan curated the record selections, and it carried sounds and music from Earth as well as greetings in 55 languages. But the record also contains encoded photos seeking to teach aliens the mathematics — or really, the measurements — needed to understand humans’ lives and their place in the universe.

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A Russian UFO Commission, the CIA, Carl Sagan and Mystery Metal

Low - Ratchford Letter 12-8-1967

     When you get a chance, I would appreciate it if you would let Art Lundahl know that I have been in contact with Carl Sagan about the establishment of the UFO commission in the USSR. While Sagan is very interested in the UFO problem and in what we’re doing and also in the recent developments in Russia, he felt reluctant to contact Shklovskii. …
By Robert Lowe
UFO Project Coordinator
Condon Committee

There is also some follow-up to do with Lundahl on the meeting that Frank Rand called, in addition to the Sagan thing. Lundahl mentioned … a report of an analysis that was made of a piece of metal discovered after falling through the atmosphere ….

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Unusual Structures on the Far Side of the Moon | Image Analysis

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Unusual structures in Crater Paracelsus C


     The authors present an analysis of Apollo 15 and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of two unusual features in the crater Paracelsus C on the far side of the moon. At first glance these structures appear to be walls or towers on the lunar surface. By combining multiple images, we show the larger feature, oriented in a northeast/southwest direction, is not simply a wall but two walls on either side of a narrow valley or “passageway”. Using single image shape from shading and 3D terrain visualization we show in a
By Mark J Carlotto
, Francis L Ridge and Ananda L Sirisena
Journal of Space Exploration

computer-generated perspective view looking northeast that the southwest end appears to be the entrance to the passageway. A reverse angle view looking southwest shows the passageway ending at a rise of terrain at the other end, possibly leading underground. The terrain surrounding the two structures is not flat but appears “excavated” by some unknown mechanism, natural or artificial. It is shown that these objects are visually different from the lunar background because their underlying structure is different.


The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) began in the 1960s with radio-telescopes and has, to date, produced no positive evidence of its existence. During these early years of SETI, Sagan [1] spoke about the possibility of extraterrestrial visitation, “It is not out of the question that artifacts of these visits still exist, or even that some kind of base is maintained
(possibly automatically) within the solar system to provide continuity for successive expeditions. Because of weathering and the possibility of detection and interference by the inhabitants of the Earth, it would be preferable not to erect such a base on the Earth’s surface. The Moon seems one reasonable alternative. Forthcoming high resolution photographic reconnaissance of the Moon from space vehicles – particularly of the back side – might bear these possibilities in mind.”

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Scientists Searching for Extraterrestrial Life – A Brief History

Scientists Searching for Extraterrestrial Life

By Daniel Oberhaus

      In 1960, renowned astronomer Frank Drake spent 150 hours holed up in the Green Bank Observatory, using a giant radio telescope to look for aliens. The experiment, known as Project Ozma, focused on two nearby stars—Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani—which Drake had selected for observation. But at the end of the project, he had little to show for his efforts: He hadn’t found any signs of intelligent life.

Though he didn’t know it at the time, Drake’s experiment had paved the way for the modern search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, in shorthand. Drake’s pioneering use of radio waves would change the way scientists scanned the cosmos for signs of life, meaning his expensive and embarrassing failure had actually revolutionized the search for aliens, and would inspire SETI programs at institutions like Harvard, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

But in 1961, Drake couldn’t have known any of this. So he called an informal conference of 12 men—among them, a handful of Nobel laureates and a young Carl Sagan—to come to Green Bank Observatory and decide if it were financially and scientifically justifiable to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Not only did the group decide that SETI was a worthwhile venture, but they began working on concrete research methods. One of these methods was the Drake equation […]

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NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence | VIDEO

NASA's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - 1987

By Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions
NASA/Life Sciences

    [Originally published in 1987] This video details the history and current efforts of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence program. The video explains the use of radiotelescopes to monitor electromagnetic frequencies reaching the Earth, and the analysis of this data for patterns or signals that have no natural origin. The video presents an overview of Frank Drake’s 1960 ‘Ozma’ experiment, the current META experiment, and planned efforts incorporating an international Deep Space Network of radio telescopes that will be trained on over 800 stars

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