Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record

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Preface: On August 20th and September 5th, 1977, two extraordinary spacecraft called Voyager were launched to the stars. After what promises to be a detailed and thoroughly dramatic exploration of the outer solar system from Jupiter to Uranus between 1979 and 1986, these space vehicles will slowly leave the solar systems - emissaries of the Earth to the realm of the stars. Affixed to each Voyager craft is a gold-coated copper phonograph record as a message to possible extra-terrestrial civilizations that might encounter the spacecraft in some distant space and time. Each record contains 118 photographs of our planet, ourselves and our civilization; almost 90 minutes of the world's greatest music; and evolutionary audio essay on "The Sounds of Earth"; and greetings in almost sixty human languages (and one whale language), including salutations from the President of the United States and the Secretary General of the United Nations. This book is an account, written by those chiefly responsible for the contents of the Voyager Record, of why we did it, how we selected the repertoire, and precisely what the record contains.

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User Review  - drmaf - LibraryThing

I have always been fascinated by the Voyager spacecraft. The thought of those little workhorses still spinning through space decades after being launched, endlessly and patiently faithful to the ... Read full review

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About the author (1978)

A respected planetary scientist best known outside the field for his popularizations of astronomy, Carl Sagan was born in New York City on November 9, 1934. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a B.A. in 1954, a B.S. in 1955, and a M.S. in 1956 in physics as well as a Ph.D. in 1960 in astronomy and astrophysics. He has several early scholarly achievements including the experimental demonstration of the synthesis of the energy-carrying molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in primitive-earth experiments. Another was the proposal that the greenhouse effect explained the high temperature of the surface of Venus. He was also one of the driving forces behind the mission of the U.S. satellite Viking to the surface of Mars. He was part of a team that investigated the effects of nuclear war on the earth's climate - the "nuclear winter" scenario. Sagan's role in developing the "Cosmos" series, one of the most successful series of any kind to be broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System, and his book The Dragons of Eden (1977) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978. He also wrote the novel Contact, which was made into a movie starring Jodie Foster. He died from pneumonia on December 20, 1996.

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