On August 25, 2012, the Voyager 1 probe achieved a historic achievement: it left the heliopause behind and became the first to reach interstellar space.
It was 19,000 million kilometres from the Sun and had exceeded the expectations of the engineers who made it. They watched hopefully as it took off from Cape Canaveral on September 5, 1977 (a day like today, 44 years ago).
Today, this NASA probe is still operational. It was designed to study the limits of the solar system, including the Kuiper belt. But he also has another mission: to try to contact some extraterrestrial civilization.
To this end, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 travel with golden records, known as Golden Records, which carry a set of images and sounds characteristic of Earth.
The idea is that this serves as a kind of cover letter if aliens intercept the probe. For this, a gold-covered copper disk was used. On one of their faces, they recorded 117 photographs of the daily life of our planet and greetings in 54 languages.
Also added 90 minutes of music by famous composers, such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Louis Armstrong.
Instructions for listening to the recordings were included on one of the covers. Thus, to indicate the revolutions that should be used for reproduction, a unit related to the fundamental transition of hydrogen, which is the most abundant element in the universe, was used.
Voyager 1 is the object created by man who has turned away from Earth. Therefore, scientists believe it is the human ship space you are most likely to encounter an alien civilization on our planet.
The only drawback that some researchers raise has to do with the possibility that the messages carried by the discs and capsules are misinterpreted by the aliens; what would happen in that case?
According to the researchers, the anthropocentrism reflected in the discs could make the message confusing for an extraterrestrial civilization, which might think that humans love to argue and that we like to dialogue in incomprehensible jargon.
“The Voyager gold records are a nice representation of how humans want to see themselves, but they are designed to be received and interpreted by something that has the sensory capabilities of an average human,” says Rebecca Orchard of the University. from Ohio.