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<   No. 3542   2016-10-21   >

Comic #3542

1 Steve: Crikey! 'e looks like a leader!
1 Mite: {alien language}
2 Jane Goodall: You know, given these mites speak and have technology, I suspect they're not native to Earth.
3 Jane Goodall: Which means I may be able to reason with them.
4 Terry: What do you know about communicating with aliens?
4 Jane Goodall: I'm Jane Goodall. I'm on the freaking Voyager Golden Record.

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The Voyager Golden Records are two phonograph records made of copper and plated with gold, which were attached to the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 deep space probes launched by NASA in 1977. They are identical, and contain a series of audio recordings and encoded images, intended as a message to any intelligent life who may discover them. (Info from NASA.)

The audio part of the recording consists of human greetings in 55 languages, a set of sounds of nature, wildlife, and technology, and 90 minutes of selected music. There is an hour long recording of human brainwave patterns. And then there are 116 images, encoded in a 512 line raster scan. Some of the images are scientific diagrams, and then there are photographs of various things that one might imagine aliens would be interested in seeing to see what our planet and its life are like.

Wikipedia has a full list of the contents of the records, including the images, but not copies of all the images. This site has copies of all of the images. Several of the images are of anonymous people, either demonstrating human physical capabilities, or showing cultural context. One is an image of an astronaut - though unidentifiable behind an opaque face mask.

In all 116 images, there is exactly one image that shows a notable and recognisable person. Image 60, which is titled "Jane Goodall and chimps" (photo by Vanne Morris-Goodall).

Jane Goodall and chimps

Jane Goodall is the only human being of note depicted in the set of images we chose to send to alien intelligences.

Of course she is.

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