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Ep. 13, Page 117
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Comic 848 - Ep. 13, Page 117

15th Sep 2011, 12:35 AM in Episode 13 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 15th Sep 2011, 12:35 AM edit delete
A Carl Sagan and Frank Drake designed diagram that went out on the Pioneer and Voyager probes in the 70's sought to show nearby alien races how to find the Earth by triangulating its position from 14 local pulsars. It's in the lower left of this cover to the Golden Records that went out on the Voyager probes:

The dashes along the lines pointing to the pulsars is their frequency in binary code, in time units of the spin-flip transition of neutral hydrogen (the frequency at which the spin quantum mechanical property of hydrogen atoms changes, which is illustrated to the right of the pulsar map); the length of the line is their relative distance (although if they'd wanted to be really clever they'd have somehow shown that in units of spin-flip frequency length...), and "tick marks" at the end of each line are supposed to show the pulsar's Z coordinate relative to the galactic plane. Pshew! They'd have to be pretty smart aliens to figure all that out--and to line it up with whatever they could see of some of those pulsars from wherever they are--but hey, we only want the smart aliens coming here, I suppose.

Oh, and the rest of the diagram is supposed to show how to make the record player that would play the record, which had songs and pictures of Earth plants, animals, and people, and so forth.


vwyler 15th Sep 2011, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Good ol' Carl.
Well, that's what happens when you send a starry-eyed egg-head to do a man's job.
They shoulda just drew a map to the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken. ;D
moizmad 15th Sep 2011, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
Let's hope those aliens are a lot smarter than I am, I can't make head nor tail of dat der thing.
smbhax 15th Sep 2011, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
He did think in funny ways sometimes! But that made him pretty interesting. Like his whole "if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe" thing.