Monday, February 04, 2008


In 1972 Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke left a photo of his family on the surface of the Moon, where it will probably remain for thousands of years longer than our civilisation will last. He even thought to seal the picture in a plastic pouch, so as to keep out all the bugs, rain and wind for which the Moon is so justly famous.

Taking this as a starting point, a program called Lunar Legacy is sending a vast batch of photos from ordinary citizens to the moon, so that our distant descendants, or Aliens from Beyond the Moon, can see what we looked like. Unfortunately weight restrictions mean that they won't be dumping hundreds of printed photos, but rather burning them to DVD and placing it in a time capsule - let's hope the aliens know the difference between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, or there will be issues.

You can look at the photos here. I for one am pleased that even after all of our art, architecture, philosophy and music has been lost to the erosion of the centuries, up on the Moon the lolcats phenomenon will survive in perpetuity.


Blogger phaedrus said...

A coworker and I were speculating about the exact nature of the package they'd be leaving on the moon surface. So a DVD isn't especially helpful, especially if we don't give the aliens decent JPEG decompression code.

I was hoping that they would be sending up microfiche AND an ancient viewer so they can hunt fruitlessly for pictures they "know are in here somewhere" while simultaneously being treated to the ambiance of public libraries of the 1980s.

9:35 AM  

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