Pale blue dot by Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan famous from the Cosmos television series filmed in the early 1980’s in the height of the cold war. The Cosmos series is worth a good look, a reasonably good introduction to science and the history of its development. The series was even updated in the mid 90’s just before Carl’s death. During his life, Sagan worked at NASA and JPL and secretly smoked ‘billions and billions’ of joints. In his honor there is a scientific unit called the Sagan which is a number of at least 4 billion.

The plaque on Poineer 10 which Carl Sagan helped design. There was enormous controversy regarding the cleft of venus. Not the planet Venus but the one subtle that make the woman figure look more like a a barbie doll than a woman. The cultural morality of the time meant that the offending line had to be removed. How offensive it was to depict a womans body accurately, how acceptable it was to have enough nuclear weapons to completely destoy the civilisation the spacecraft originated from.

The plaque on Pioneer 10 which Carl Sagan helped design. There was enormous controversy regarding the cleft of venus. Not the planet Venus but the one subtle line that makes the woman figure look more like a barbie doll than a woman. The cultural morality of the time meant that the offending line had to be removed. How offensive it was to depict a woman’s body accurately, how acceptable it was to have enough nuclear weapons to completely destroy the civilization the spacecraft originated from.

The picture of the blue dot was not taken from Pioneer 10 with the infamous gold plaque, but a similar voyager probe just past the orbit of Saturn.

In case you are wondering the 2 circles at the top are a representation of the hydrogen atom, the radiating lines are to describe ours suns position in relation to nearby pulsars (pulsating stars which pulse more slowly over time) and therefore the approximate time of launch of the spcaecraft the plaque is on. The dots and dashes are not Morse code, they are binary numbers for the various dimensions described.

Posted on March 8, 2013, in History, Media, Photo, Politics, USA, Video. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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