Dia 20 de Agosto é marcado por dois aniversários que não me passam ao lado.

Foi a um 20 de Agosto, o de 1977, que a Humanidade lançou para o Espaço Profundo a Voyager 2, uma "garrafa lançada ao oceano cosmico", como lhe chamou Carl Sagan.

«CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 19--The Voyager spacecraft scheduled for launching tomorrow to scout Jupiter, Saturn, and possibly Uranus will be carrying a message from Earth on the off chance that extraterrestrial beings will come upon the craft centuries from now, somewhere on its endless journey beyond the solar system.

The message is in the form of a recoding, called "Sounds of Earth." It is a 12 inch copper phonograph record inserted in an aluminum protective jacket that is attached to the outside of the 1,820 pound spacecraft.

Dr. Carl Sagan, the Cornell University astronomer who conceived the idea, calls the recorded message a "bottle cast into the cosmic ocean."
in New York Times, August 20, 1977

Inscribed on the record are nearly two hours of greetings in dozens of human languages, samples of music of various cultures and times, natural sounds such as the wind and surf and animals and birds.

Voyager2, equipped with television cameras and scientific instruments, is to fly by Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981 and, if all continues to go well, Uranus in 1986.

An identical spacecraft, Voyager 1, scheduled for launching Sept. 1
, is to explore Jupiter and Saturn. The missions call for the most far-ranging reconnaissance of the outer solar system thus far.

The messages on the record were designed to enable possible extraterrestrial civilizations that might intercept the spacecraft millions of years hence to put together some picture of 20th century Earth and its inhabitants. The record runs about two hours.

The record contains, in scientific language, information on how it is to be played, using the cartridge and needle provided. The first eight minutes consist of a wavy, electronic hum, which is the transmission of 115 photographs and diagrams in electronic form depicting the mathematics, chemistry, geology and biology of the Earth and a description of the solar system.

The musical selections represent many cultures and many times, including Eastern and Western classical music, ethnic music, and jazz and rock-and-roll. There is Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, A Navajo Night Chant, Peruvian Woman's Wedding Song and Australian Horn and Totem Song.

"Because space is very empty, there is essential no chance that Voyager will enter the planetary system of another star," Dr. Sagan said. "The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space.»


Um outro aniversário que tem lugar a 20 de Agosto é o do meu Amigo Francisco G.B.

É um homem que percustou o espaço inter-estelar colocando o seu computador ao serviço da busca de sinais especificos, através de um programa internacional concebido para tal.

É um homem com a paixão do Conhecimento, que busca a Luz, a Ciência e Deus com abertura e sede. É um Professor, é um Amigo.

«The school systems, it seems to me, have an attitude of discouregment of asking fundamental questions» - sic Carl Sagan

O meu Amigo Francisco sempre teve em mim exactamente o efeito contrário.
Obrigada Francisco e

Neste 20 de Agosto procurei uma "prenda" para te deixar aqui; creio que a encontrei, feita à medida, para ti e para a Voyager, que andará algures no universo, onde sempre nos encontraremos...

God, the Universe, & Everything Else -10 minutos de conversa entre 3 "monstros" do fim do séc.XX: Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke (1988)


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