What might happen if other beings outside our solar system finds Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 with the media inside them, named The Golden Record?

By Wayne Boyd

The human race will be much changed. The reason the golden record was included on the Voyager spacecrafts was twofold. The main reason was a mechanism to inspire public interest (and therefore funding) for the project, which was to explore the outer planets in our solar system and interstellar space. The other reason was that Voyager I was going to pass within 1.6 light years of the star called Gliese 445 in about 40,000 years. In case any intelligent space traveling beings over there might notice Voyager I drift by their star 1.6 light years away, they might go out, retrieve it, and discover the Golden Record.

To compare that to us, if an alien spacecraft the size of Voyager I passed by within 1.6 years of our own sun we would not be able to detect it. It’s too small, and out many times farther than the Voyagers are now from Earth. It would be many times outside the solar system entirely.

Gliese 445

Now, let’s assume that 40,000 years from now Voyager I is drifting by within 1.6 light years of Gliese 445 which is 17.1 light years away from us and alien astronomers on a planet over there did somehow notice it. Let’s say their alien scientists then launched a probe to investigate and find the Golden Record. What would happen? That’s the essence of your question, right? Well, let’s look at it.

To send a probe from an alien world to Voyager I as it passes by the star Gliese 445 their probe would have to travel 1.6 light years, which would take thousands of years. But once reaching Voyager I, the probe could communicate back to their alien world in only 1.6 years, with a 3.2 year return signal. So let’s say they did it.

The Golden Record is designed to indicate to an advanced alien civilization that other intelligent beings are “out there.” This would be extremely exciting for them to realize someone else (Earth) is out there. They might try to send a radio signal in our direction to let us know the message was received. The message would take 17.1 years to reach Earth, so basically, 45,000 years from now the message from the aliens might reach Earth, but would anyone still be around to listen? My estimate of time is the 40,000 years for Voyager I to reach that far, another 4,000 years or so for their space probe to reach Voyager, and a few years communicating with the probe to figure out what it found. Nothing here is true math. It’s just very round, hypothetical numbers.

Once the aliens realized there was another planet with intelligent beings on it, they might try to communicate with us even though we are more than 17 light years from them.

So a form of communication could eventually be established. Considering the speed of light with a return message taking 34 or 35 years (the time in light years and back) it would be a slow, gradual communication. Interstellar travel between the two civilizations would not be feasible, however. It would take the spacecraft about the same time as it took Voyager, or maybe they could half the time with some kind of alien propulsion system. UFO conspiracies aside, travel over those distances isn’t realistic.

The best could be communication.

Then again, the human race will probably be much changed 45,000 years from now and who knows if anyone will be listening by then, or conversely, if there is an alien civilization orbiting on a planet around Gliese 445 now, will they still be around by the time Voyager I reaches there?

Some people on Earth would not believe it or even care. Scientists, if there are any scientists left 45,000 years from now would be excited. I’d imagine it would be about the same for the aliens, but who knows what kind of organization they might have over there.

Basically, it would be largely ignored by the public.

What do the people of the world want aliens to know?

By Wayne Boyd

Actually, this is an interesting question and I think I can provide an interesting answer.

To know what the people of the world want aliens to know about us, look no further than the Voyager spacecrafts. When we launched them in 1977 they were on a mission to explore the planets in our solar system, but afterward it was known they would be flung out of our solar system to drift in interstellar space for tens of thousands of years, and interstellar space is where they are both now.

So physicist Carl Sagan had an idea to place a golden record on each spacecraft with a message from Earth to any aliens who might come across them in the eons to come. According to Wikipedia, “The records contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form who may find them. The records are a sort of time capsule.”

So what’s exactly on this record, and what did mankind in 1977 want future aliens in space to know about us? The contents of the record were decided by a committee from Cornell University and headed by Carl Sagan. It took more than a year to decide on the contents, and contains 115 images of Earth and natural sounds of the planet like wind, surf, thunder and whales.

There’s images of DNA and music by Mozart and Beethoven and a whole bunch of other stuff to indicate we are an intellectually and culturally developed civilization of beings.

Do you believe in aliens? Do you think that we can ever get in contact with them?

Yes, I believe in space aliens, and unlike others, no, I don’t believe they are “here” nor do I ever think they will ever be able to come here, nor us go there.

Space is so big, that given we’ve been emitting radio waves for over a hundred years, the radio “sphere” in space coming from us hardly encompasses very many stars at all. We live in a huge galaxy, one of billions of galaxies, and in our little corner of our galaxy our radio waves, traveling at the speed of light, haven’t even reached a significant portion of our own galaxy.

In the image below, you can see just how tiny an area that is, represented by the small blue circle, or dot.

That being the case, unless there are aliens that want to visit us and “hide among us” (for whatever reason), they’d really have to come from somewhere pretty close.

I don’t see it.

Regarding “UFOs,” aka unidentified objects in the sky, there are many natural phenomena that we don’t yet understand, but to take it there is something we have yet to identify and then extrapolate that it is some kind of alien spacecraft visiting across thousands of light years just to come here, is more than a stretch. It’s not science.

If the first radio signals went into space over a hundred years ago and were received by a populated world how long at 10% speed of light would it take to get a visit or attack?

by Wayne Boyd – Philosopher, blogger, published author

Well, first of all, know that, as you pointed out in your question, we’ve been broadcasting radio signals for about a hundred years or so, which creates a radio bubble around SOL, our sun, with a radius of about 100 light years. So first lets look at how many stars are within that bubble.

According to A stars within 100 light-years

there are about 76 stars of type “A” within that distance, which is not very many compared to the estimated 100 to 400 billion stars thought to be in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Of those stars, there just aren’t that many candidates for habitable planets in orbit around them.

At present speed and existing technology we could reach the nearest star system proxima centauri in about 10,000 years, which is 4 light years away. We can assume the aliens would have similar problems. If we could go as fast as 4.5% the speed of light, about 140 times faster than any spacecraft we have yet to create, then we could reach our nearest neighbor in about 100 years.

I really don’t think you need to worry. We don’t even know if microscopic alien life exists anywhere other than Earth, and we don’t have any evidence that anything more advanced is anywhere near us in the Milky Way Galaxy. Anyone who wanted to travel hundreds of years to try to invade us would be nuts.

Is anybody out there?

In fact, had a giant asteroid not killed off the dinosaurs, homo sapiens might never have evolved. If it weren’t for that chance cataclysmic encounter from space, Earth might even now be ruled by dinosaurs.

By Wayne Boyd

In the early days of Hollywood and television, we used to think that life on other planets was common. Science fiction movies about invasions from the planet Mars or Venus were normal. HG Wells wrote War of the Worlds which later became a radio show and still later several big screen adaptations and it was about Martians invading Earth.

Even as our imagination thrived our knowledge of the cosmos grew. We sent probes and rovers throughout the solar system and beyond. We gazed into the stars with our space telescopes. We took images from non-visible light and radio waves. Great minds like Einstein and Hawking churned it over. Finally, after all that, we came to a startling if not disappointing realization: Planets other than Earth that support life, if they exist at all, appear to be the exception rather than the rule. There is no warmongering Martian civilization waiting to invade Earth. There are no lovely ladies lounging around on Venus. It’s true not only for our own solar system, but for all the exoplanets we’ve detected so far.

Our understanding of distances in space developed, especially between stars. Distances, it turned out, were vast. The more we knew the less likely it seemed anyone would go star hopping. That not only applies to us, but the aliens as well, if any extraterrestrial sentient beings exist at all! There will be no warp drives, no faster than light travel, and no light speed travel. It just isn’t possible. We can’t go there and they can’t come here.

Recently, there’s been some reports of UFOs in the news, and that’s always been there from the 1950s on. There is no evidence that unidentified flying objects are extraterrestrial in origin. It is unlikely for the simple reason that to travel from one star to the next would take tens of thousands of years. Sadly, and perhaps fortunately, no one is traveling from star to star. The best we can hope for is that we can visit other planets in our own solar system. Maybe one of them might at least have some microbes.

Once we figured out that there wasn’t much chance of advanced, intelligent life elsewhere within our own solar system, then we hoped we would find it on planets around other stars. Remember the movie Avatar? Supposedly that took place around Alpha Centauri, one of our closest group of stars. So if we can’t find life here then for sure it’s going to be on the closest star!

Yet, as we peered into the solar systems of other stars we came to a new understanding: most planets that we’re able to detect outside of our own solar system are hostile environments. There’s something weird about almost all of them, and so the prospect of finding life orbiting on a planet near our closest star is kind of unlikely. There’s no “Avatar” on Alpha Centauri.

Intelligent alien life is not impossible. The universe is a big place. The point is that we now know it to be rare. So rare, in fact, that it might exist nowhere other than here. At least as far as we can see so far.

In fact, had a giant asteroid not killed off the dinosaurs, homo sapiens might never have evolved. If it weren’t for that chance cataclysmic encounter from space, Earth might even now be ruled by dinosaurs.

Therefore, even if a planet were in an ideal goldilocks region around it’s star, and even if on the off chance single cell organisms had developed there, we have no reason to suspect that a homo-erectus kind of being might have developed there.

We really could be the only ones out there.

Will we find evidence Human-Like species once lived on Mars?

Will we find evidence Human-Like species once lived on Mars? Personally, I highly doubt it. I’m not even sure we will find evidence of ANY kind of past life on Mars, even microbial. If we even found evidence of a fossil of an extraterrestrial microbe on Mars, or for that matter on a meteor or anywhere else that originated somewhere other than Earth, it would completely revolutionize science and religion and be a huge culture shock for millions of people.

Are Aliens Simply an Advanced Version of Us?

If we were ever to discover aliens (we haven’t yet), they would most likely not be more advanced than humans. In fact, the majority of aliens we are likely to discover will be microbes. The term (extraterrestrial) “aliens” does not imply a race of advanced beings.

If, however, we were to come across aliens more advanced than microbes, they might be something like this guy below.