Speaking for Planet Earth: Our Message to the Cosmos

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A public lecture by Dr Francisco Diego

 

Within the next few million years there is the very remote possibility that distant alien civilisations will receive material evidence of our presence in the Universe. This evidence consists of the battered remains of some of our spacecrafts, on their way to the nearby stars, having left our solar system forever.

Protected within their metallic structures are messages, information about us that we assume any alien civilisation would like to know. What kind of universal language was used? What was said within the very limited space constraints? In a way the messages are self-reflections about how we see ourselves within the vast cosmic arena.

 
This lecture explores the recent scientific, technological and intellectual achievements that made this amazing project possible. In the long term, will these spacecrafts become the only survivors of our fragile and ephemeral efforts, the only ones that will speak for planet Earth?

Dr Francisco Diego is a Senior Research Fellow at the Dept of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. He is a keen populariser of astronomy and has extensive experience as a planetarium producer/presenter, lecturer, author and broadcaster. He has appeared on several TV series such as the BBC's Wonders of the Universe. A current project of his is The Mind of the Universe, a collection of public and school lectures and teacher workshops on astrophysics, cosmology and life in the Universe.

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