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Ozfactor

Francis Drake regrets Earth maps in space

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http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/aliens-could-conquer-earth-and-destroy-humanity-by-following-maps-nasa-sent-into-space/news-story/669082fe37e5349483be813153379a24

BACK in the optimistic early days of space exploration, everyone thought it was a great idea to offer aliens a chart telling them how to find Planet Earth.

But now the man who sent four maps into deep space fears this decision could prove to be disastrous, reports The Sun.

Frank Drake, an American astronomer and famed alien hunter, worked with NASA to design maps which were placed inside Pioneer 10 and 11 as well as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes.

All four of these spaceships have now left the solar system and are speeding through deep space.

The plaque placed aboard the Pioneer craft shows a man and a woman alongside a basic map which plots the position of Earth compared to a distant pulsar stars, which are bright and long-lasting so could still direct aliens our way if they are found millions of years from now.

Voyager was fitted with “golden records”, which can be played to reveal natural sounds and even images from Earth.

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The title to this thread was one of the most puzzling I've seen in a long time. Francis Drake, the legendary 16th century explorer and buccaneer, has spoken out on the dangers of possible extraterrestrial contact? :unsure2: 

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Anyway, regarding the subject of the topic, why would any alien race millions of light years away decide that it would be worth their while attacking and invading Earth, if they did work out where it was? And did the records attached to Voyager really include images of Earth? That was some clever technology, to be able to include visual images in a vinyl (or in this case, gold) record? Or do they mean the plaque  attached to it? 

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... Oh wait, yes. V'ger :worried: 

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Really, tot hat I can only say "pfffft"

Why assume that whoever finds Pioneer or Voyager spacecrafts (and is able to decipher them, which imho is not at all a given) would use that knowledge to invade Earth? This already assumes that they will be found during the timeframe of humanity's  ex8istance, which isn't a given  either.

Why the pessimism?

The way I see it deciphering the information from those spacecrafts would require a considerate effort and a lot of trial an error even form a species that thinks identical to humanity, let alone from a civilization that's more exotic in perceiving and understanding the world. All that trouble...just to use the info for destruction? Nah.

If anything we should send out more of those things.

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Posted (edited)

I followed up the trail of the claim that Frank Drake now regrets furnishing a map showing the way to Earth, which was attached to four space probes leaving our solar system, two Pioneers and two Voyagers. News.com.au cites an article from the UK tabloid, The Sun. The source of the Sun article is the National Geographic website.

I read the Nat'l Geographic article and found no such regrets expressed by Dr. Drake. He thinks it unlikely that the probes will be found at all, and reminds us that we have sent far more conspicuous clues to our whereabouts, via space-bound radio waves, for years.  

The article, written by Drake's daughter, cites, in passing, the fact that some scientists and philosophers have expressed the opinion that it is unwise  to reveal our location to supposed enemies in space.  This is common knowledge among SETI enthusiasts, with Dr. Stephen Hawking the most prominent exponent of such forebodings. 

Incidentally, it's a relatively simple matter to reduce images to sounds that can placed on a record, and to play them back as images. There are instructions on how to do this, engraved on the record. They even include a record stylus to be used for the playback.

It's always been understood that the Pioneer plaques and the Voyager records were largely symbolic in nature. Time capsules of the space age, if you will.  As such, I found them a very inspiring statement of our humanity and aspirations. 

Edited by bison
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An advanced race in space coming upon these probes possibly could find reverse trajectory to find earth.

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21 hours ago, bison said:

Incidentally, it's a relatively simple matter to reduce images to sounds that can placed on a record, and to play them back as images. There are instructions on how to do this, engraved on the record. They even include a record stylus to be used for the playback.

Well it is for us, because we are familiar with the concept of doing so, and with all the concepts needed for that. But consider the idea of a species that has no concept of sound, or of sight or has a fundamentally different way of conveying information. Or one that has no concept of recording information because they have some sort of biological and/or photographic memory, and/or a hivemind. It's a big universe out there. 

Quote

It's always been understood that the Pioneer plaques and the Voyager records were largely symbolic in nature. Time capsules of the space age, if you will.  As such, I found them a very inspiring statement of our humanity and aspirations. 

Yeah, pretty much. I find it very uplifting that those plaques and records were created and sent into space. Which is why I  would find it so baffling that somebody would regret doing so (if that was even the case). 

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