Friday, 1 February 2013

Carl Sagan Dance Party #7

Between 1972 and 1981 Carl Sagan occupied the appointment of Associate Director of the Center for Radio Physics and Space Research at Cornell.  During that decade he also fiercely advocated for the legitimacy of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project and convinced the journal Science to publish a petition of support signed by 70 prominent scientists, including seven Nobel Prize winners.

In 1974 Sagan combined both his passions for radio physics and the search for extraterrestrial life by assisting Dr. Frank Drake broadcast a rudimentary binary message from the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico to the globular star cluster M13, over 25,000 light years away. 

The message contained seven parts:

The numbers one to ten; the atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus, which make up deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); the formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA; the number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA; a graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth; a graphic of the solar system; and a graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the dimension of the transmitting antenna dish.

But once Carl had access to the telescope he often clandestinely transmitted his favourite cosmic disco tracks to galaxies far, far away.

Mass Production - "Cosmic Lust," Believe, Atlantic/Cotillion, 1977

Discogs: Believe

MFSB - "Mysteries of the World," Mysteries of the World, TSOP, 1980

Discogs: Mysteries of the World

Brainstorm - "Journey to the Light," Journey to the Light, Tabu Records, 1978

Discogs: Journey to the Light

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