SCIENCE

Voyager 1's 'Golden Record' Contains Directions To Earth For Aliens (VIDEO)

12/15/2012 12:49 am ET

After decades in space, NASA's Voyager 1 probe recently made its way to the "magnetic highway," a region at the edge of our solar system, where the magnetic field of our own sun meets that of interstellar space. And as the spacecraft continues its journey into the milky way, guess what? It is not traveling alone.

In fact, Voyager 1 carries a golden record that serves as a sort of 1970s time capsule in case it ever encounters advanced alien life. In addition to recorded greetings in various languages, music, natural sounds, and images of a man and woman, the record includes directions to Earth. Some have argued that including those directions wasn't such a good idea -- given the possibility that aliens who encounter them might want to come to Earth to do us harm.

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," physicist Stephen Hawking once notably said in a series for the Discovery Channel.

I had the chance to talk about Voyager 1 and its golden record with HuffPost Live producer/host Jacob Soboroff.

Bobak Ferdowsi, systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Alan C. Cummings, co-Investigator on the Voyager 1 mission, and Dr. Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley professor of astronomy, also joined the discussion.

Check out the video clip above (or see the full segment below) and leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!

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