A Spacecraft Launched 39 Years Ago Has Human Sounds Onboard — Now We Can Listen
Carl Sagan was one of the people who helped shape this recording that might just end up in the hands of some other beings, somewhere out there.
The Voyager record, image public domain
Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1977, with the idea that, after a little exploration of our own solar system, they'd keep going and going into the "billions and billions" of stars. Wherein maybe, just maybe, they'd find an alien civilization to bump into.
Anticipating that, both Voyagers carried with them, housed in a sturdy aluminum jacket, a copper record plated with gold, and it had multiple hours of human sounds — music, words, and even analog images. (Since this was 1977, the images are encoded on the record, and have to be decoded. DVDs and MP3s didn't exist then, you see. Does that make you feel old? It does me.)
The primary missions of both Voyager spacecraft were to explore Jupiter and Saturn (Voyager 1) and Uranus and Neptune (Voyager 2), but the folks behind the mission knew that after completing those primary missions in 1989 — 12 years after their launch — they would be sent on the Voyager Interstellar Mission to explore space beyond our solar system. Carl Sagan was head of the NASA committee that decided what that whole golden record thing would look and sound like.
There were 12 copies of it made, all but 2 of which went to NASA entities, and one to then-President Carter. (No, Carl Sagan never received one.)
The other 2, of course, are onboard the crafts designed to carry them far beyond our solar system.
And so they have: Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have made it to interstellar space. They're now about 20 billion kilometers away from Earth (V1) and 16 billion (V2).
The location of the record on the spacecraft. Image public domain.
So ... what's on that record?
Music — everything from Beethoven to Chuck Berry to a Peruvian wedding song, 118 images, and greetings in almost 60 human languages — and 1 whale language. Plus animal sounds, thunder, morse code, and more.
It was available for a short time as a CD-ROM in 1992, you can find various snippets of the record online, and some of the sounds were released by NASA to Soundcloud, but this is the first time it can be available for us all back on Earth who haven't heard it, because there's a Kickstarter by Ozma Records to make all of that available for us Earthlings to hear; when it succeeds, we can look forward to listening to — and seeing — the same things as whatever beings Voyager 1 and 2 encounter in their travels.
The project intends to release it on vinyl (a 3-record non-gold set), as well as in MP3 format.
Hat tip to the New York Times.
Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.
90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.
- The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
- The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
- This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.
Most said they want to act on their desire someday. But do open relationships actually work?
- The study involved 822 Americans who were in monogamous relationships at the time.
- Participants answered questions about their personalities, sexual fantasies, and intentions to act on those fantasies.
- Research suggests practicing consent, comfort, and communication makes open relationships more likely to succeed.
Consensual non-monogamy fantasies<p>For the new study, published in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-020-01788-7" target="_blank">Archives of Sexual Behavior</a>, researchers asked 822 people in monogamous relationships to:</p><ul><li>Describe their favorite sexual fantasy, defined as "mental images you have while you are awake that you find to be sexually arousing or erotic."</li><li>Select which themes apply to that fantasy, such as having sex with multiple people at the same time, experimenting with taboos, or engaging in a sexually open relationship.</li><li>Answer whether they intended to carry out these fantasies, and discuss them with their partner.</li><li>Complete assessments on relationship satisfaction, erotophilia and personality, as measured by the Big Five Personality inventory.</li></ul><p>The results showed that 32.6 percent of participants said being part of a sexually open relationship was "part of their favorite sexual fantasy of all time." More surprising is that, of that one-third, 80 percent said they want to act on this fantasy in the future.</p>
Pretzelpaws via Wikipedia Commons<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The present research confirms the important distinction between sexual fantasy and sexual desire in that not everyone wanted to act on their favorite sexual fantasy of all time," study author Justin J. Lehmiller told <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/09/one-third-of-people-in-monogamous-relationships-fantasize-about-being-in-some-type-of-open-relationship-study-suggests-58102" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>. "This suggests that fantasies may serve different functions for different people."</p><p>Even though most participants said they want to act out their fantasy in the future, far fewer reported acting out sexual fantasies in the past. Other findings included:</p><ul><li>Men were more likely to fantasize about CNMRs.</li><li>So were people who scored high in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotophilia#:~:text=Erotophilia%20is%20a%20personality%20trait,ranging%20from%20erotophobia%20to%20erotophilia." target="_blank">erotophilia</a> and sociosexual orientation.</li><li>The psychological predictors of fantasizing about CNMRs differed from predictors about infidelity fantasies.</li></ul>
Do open relationships work?<p>A <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2019.1669133" target="_blank">2019 study</a> from psychologists at the University of Rochester suggests it <em>is </em>possible<em>, </em>but especially when both partners practice a trio of behaviors: consent, communication, and comfort — or, the Triple-C Model.<br></p>But the study also suggests not all forms of open relationships are equally viable. For example, people in one-sided CNMRs — where one partner stays monogamous, the other seeks outside sexual relationships — were nearly three times more dissatisfied in their relationships than the monogamous group <em>and </em>the consensual non-monogamous group.
The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.