Voyager Record

Timothy Ferris produced the Voyager phonograph record, an archive of music, voices, and natural sounds of Planet Earth carried aboard the twin Voyager interstellar spacecraft, which were launched from Kennedy Space Center in 1977 and are now leaving the solar system. Regrettably, the record is not at present available to the public. For information about the record and other aspects of the Voyager mission, see http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html. The book Murmurs of Earth describes how the Voyager record was created and details its contents.



Selected Articles and Essays

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  • “Are We Alone? Searching the Heavens for Another Earth,” cover story, National Geographic, December 2009.
  • “Cosmic Vision,” National Geographic, July 2009.
  • “Alfa Romeo Competizione,” Automobile, January 2008.
  • “Raising Heaven,” National Geographic, November 2007.
  • “Seeing in the Dark,” HighDef magazine, Sept/Oct 2007.
  • “Mix Tape of the Gods,” The New York Times Op-Ed page, September 5, 2007.
  • liner notes to Private Investigations - The Very Best Of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler, Warner Brothers Records, 2005.
  • “Keep Up the Search,” New Scientist, October 22, 2005.
  • “Sedan Delivery,” Automobile, July 2005.
  • “A Valet to His Hero,” The New York Times Book Review, March 13, 2005.
  • Foreword to Michelle Feynman, ed., Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman. New York: Basic Books, 2005.
  • “Bob Dylan Approximately,” Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 10, 2004.
  • “C6 Appeal,” Automobile, September 2004.
  • “The Waiting Game,” Automobile, April 2004.
  • “Stumbling into Space,” The New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004.
  • Forward to Field Guide for Science Writers, 2004.
  • Forward to Hunter S. Thompson’s Kingdom of Fear. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
  • “A New Pathway to the Stars,” The New York Times Op-Ed page, Sunday, December 21, 2003; reprinted in the International Herald Tribune and the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
  • “The Wonder of Seeing Red,” Los Angeles Times Opinion page, August 24, 2003.
  • “'Taken' Off,” Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 2003.
  • “At Dawn, the Columbia,” The New York Times Op-Ed page, February 3, 2003, and other newspapers.
  • “The Whole Shebang: How Science Produced the Big Bang Model,” from The Whole Shebang, American Educator, Fall 2002.
  • “Killer Rocks From Outer Space,” adapted from Seeing in the Dark, Reader’s Digest, October 2002.
  • “Voyager: A Message From Earth,” The Planetary Report, September/October 2002.
  • “Astronomy’s New Stars,” from Seeing in the Dark, Smithsonian, September 2002.
  • “On Science Writing,” Physics in Perspective, vol. 4 (2002) 1, 3-12, February 2002.
  • Foreword to James Trefil and Margaret Hindle Hazen, Good Seeing: A Century of Science at the Carnegie Institution of Washington 1902-2002. Washington, Joseph Henry Press, 2002.
  • “Infinite Loop,” Yahoo Internet life, September 2001.
  • Introduction to Celestial Nights: Visions of an Ancient Land, by Neil Folberg, New York, Aperture, 2001.
  • “Snafu Snared, Scientists Say,” ScienceWriters, Spring 2001.
  • “Concerning John Archibald Wheeler,” Contentville.com, February 2001.
  • “Reforming Voting Machine Technology,” Contentville.com, January 2001.
  • “Five Gs and a 125-Pound Head,” Men’s Journal, January 2001.
  • “Stars and Pyramids,” Contentville.com, December 2000.
  • “Bush and Gore on Science and Technology,” October 2000, Contentville.com.
  • “Many Questions, Some Answers,” October 2, 2000, Forbes ASAP.
  • “Faster Than a Speeding Unser,” September 2000, Men’s Journal.
  • Contributions to “What Are the Grand Questions of Science?” and “What Are the Next Breakthroughs in Science?” in Robert Lawrence Kuhn, editor, Closer to Truth. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.
  • “The Sinking of the Kursk,” September 1, 2000, Contentville.com.
  • “Precious Metal,” September 2000, Automobile.
  • “Switching the light Fantastic,” August 21, 2000, Forbes ASAP.
  • “Where Are They?” August 1, 2000, Contentville.com.
  • “How Will the Universe End?” Time, April 10, 2000.
  • “The light and the Dark,” Automobile, March 2000.
  • “A Space Station?” The New York Times Magazine, November 28, 1999; reprinted in MAX Magazine, Germany, 1999.
  • “If Forced to Choose,” American Scientist, November-December 1999.
  • “The Cruel Sport,” Talk, November 1999.
  • “The Last Bit: Is Information Theory the Answer to Everything?” Forbes ASAP Big Issue IV, October 4, 1999.
  • “Personal Places,” National Geographic Traveler, October 1999.
  • “How to Predict Everything,” The New Yorker, July 12, 1999.
  • “Introduction to The Scientific American Book of Astronomy,” The Lyons Press, 1999.
  • “Whine of the Region,” Automobile, July 1999.
  • “Interstellar Spaceflight,” Scientific American Presents: The Future of Space Exploration, Spring 1999.
  • “Communication With High-Performance Automobiles,” Wired, January 1999.
  • “NASA's Mission to Nowhere,” Op-ed page, The New York Times, Sunday, November 29, 1998.
  • “The Three Immensities,” Forbes ASAP Big Issue III, November 30, 1998.
  • “Seeing in the Dark,” The New Yorker, August 10, 1998.
  • “Not Rocket Science,” The New Yorker, July 20, 1998.
  • “Flight of the Bumblers,” Op-ed page, The New York Times, September 24, 1997.
  • “The Space Gamble,” The New York Review of Books, September 25, 1997; reprinted in Le Recherche, Paris, November 1997.
  • “Inflating the Cosmos,” Astronomy, July 1997.
  • “The Wrong Stuff,” The New Yorker, April 14, 1997.
  • “The Risks and Rewards of Popularizing Science,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 1997; reprinted in The Informal Science Review, May/June 1997.
  • “The Moon's Big Splash,” Natural History, March 1997.
  • “Is This the End?” The New Yorker, January 27, 1997; reprinted in Germany and Australia and in McGraw-Hill's Quantitative Reasoning Workbook, 1997.
  • “Weirdness Makes Sense,” The New York Times Magazine, Sept. 29, 1996.
  • “A Message From Mars,” The New Yorker, August 19, 1996.
  • “Express Train of the Sky,” Op-Ed page, San Francisco Examiner and other newspapers, June 4, 1996.
  • Foreword, Robert P. Crease and Charles C. Mann, “The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics,” Rutgers University Press, 1996.
  • “Alien Ambition,” The New Yorker, February 12, 1996.
  • “Apollo 13 and the Strip-Mining of American Culture,” Newsday, July 11, 1995; reprinted in the Washington Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Phoenix Gazette, other papers.
  • “At the Cosmological Conference,” The New Yorker, May 15, 1995.
  • “The Interpreter,” lead essay in Ted Anton and Rick McCourt, editors, The New Science Journalists: The Future of Our Planet, Our Species, and Our Psyches, From the Most Renowned literary Science Journalists Working Today, New York, Ballantine, 1995.
  • “Science and Genesis,” chapter in Clifford N. Matthews and Roy Abraham Varghese, editors, Cosmic Beginnings and Human Ends: Where Science and Religion Meet, Chicago, Open Court, 1995.
  • “Raising the Roof,” chapter in Valerie Neal, editor, Where Next, Columbus: The Future of Space Exploration, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • “Earthbound,” The New Yorker, August 1, 1994.
  • “Toads 'n Warts,” Science Writers, Spring 1994.
  • “Ayrton Senna's Intense, Deadly World,” San Francisco Examiner, op-ed page, Sunday, May 15, 1994.
  • “Seeing Stars,” The New Yorker, January 31, 1994.
  • “Evolution of Interstellar Communications Systems,” chapter in Bang: The Evolving Cosmos: Nobel Conference XXVII, Richard Fuller, editor, University Press of America, 1994.
  • “The Future is Coming,” The New York Times, op-ed page, November 12, 1993.
  • “Renaming the Big Bang: A Case Study of Popular Ideas on Cosmology,” with Richard T. Fienberg, J. Kelly Beatty, D. T. Dinsmoor, Hugh Downs, and Carl Sagan, poster paper, American Astronomical Society annual meeting, January 1994.
  • “The Keck Telescope: One of the Seven Technological Wonders of the World,” Wired, December 1993.
  • “The Klumpke-Roberts Award to David Morrison,” Mercury, July/August 1993.
  • “Amateur Astronomer David Levy,” Mercury, July/August 1993.
  • “Needed: A Better Name for the Big Bang,” Sky & Telescope, August 1993.
  • “Babbling Brooks and Talking Dogs,” The New York Times, op-ed page, June 8, 1993; reprinted in the San Jose Mercury News and other newspapers.
  • “life, the Universe and Me,” The Times, London, February 20, 1993.
  • “The Klumpke-Roberts Award to Philip Morrison,” Mercury, November/December 1992, p 198,
  • “Belly Laughs,” from The Mind's Sky, Mindfield, Winter 1992.
  • “Walking in Time,” lead essay in Mysteries of life and the Universe: New Essays From America's Finest Writers on Science, edited by William H. Shore; New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992; Tokyo, Haykuyo Sha, 1993.
  • “When Science is the Star,” The New York Times, Arts & Leisure section, Sunday, August 16, 1992.
  • “Bureaucracy-Bound NASA Needs to Push Out Space Frontier,” The Northern Centinel, Summer 1992.
  • Foreward to Donald Kaufman and Taffy Dahl, Color, New York, Clarkson/Potter, 1992.
  • “Ground NASA and Start Again,” The New York Times, op-ed page, Sunday, March 16, 1992; reprinted in Cleveland Plain Dealer, Houston Chronicle, and other newspapers.
  • “Mind Games,” (adapted from The Mind's Sky), Image magazine, San Francisco Examiner, February 2, 1992.
  • Four-part series adapted from The Mind's Sky, Los Angeles Times syndicate, published in various American newspapers, February, 1992.
  • “Author in Residence,” House & Garden, February, 1992.
  • “A Cosmological Event,” (from The Mind's Sky), The New York Times Magazine, December 15, 1991.
  • “The 40's,” Sky & Telescope, November, 1991.
  • “Total,” The New Yorker, July 29, 1991.
  • “The Space Telescope: A Sign of Intelligent life,” The New York Times, Week in Review section, front page, Sunday, April 29, 1990.
  • “Zen and R. H. Blyth,” The Nation, April 30, 1990.
  • “A Plumb line to the Sun,” Mercury magazine, May/June 1989.
  • Five chapters from Coming of Age in the Milky Way excerpted in The Dallas Morning News, April 17 - May 15, 1989.
  • “Newton's Reach,” (adapted from Coming of Age in the Milky Way) Science Illustrated, March/April 1989.
  • “Grand Unification Theories,” in Holcomb B. Noble, editor, Next: The Coming Era in Science, Boston, little, Brown, 1988.
  • “Where Are We Going? Notes on the Absolute Motion of the Solar System Through Space.” Sky & Telescope, May, 1987.
  • “The Year of the Red lights: Challenger, Chernobyl, the Titanic, and 'Star Wars,'” life, January 1987.
  • “A Night in the Observatory,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, December 22, 1985.
  • “Black and White Magic,” Omni, November 1985.
  • “SpaceShots,” adapted from the book, Science 84, September 1984; Reader's Digest, June 1985; Eastern Review, February 1986.
  • “Albert Einstein's Annus Mirabilis,” Science 84 fifth anniversary issue, November 1984; reprinted in Annual Edition: Western Civilization, Vol 2, 1985.
  • “Why is Nature Beautiful?” “First Word” column, Omni, November 1984.
  • “Mind Over Matter: The Singular Stephen Hawking,” Vanity Fair, June 1984; reprinted in The Journalist, March, 1985.
  • “Return of the Death Star,” Science Digest, June 1984.
  • “The Radio Sky and the Echo of Creation,” adapted from The Red limit, second edition, Mercury, The Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, XIII:1, January, 1984.
  • “The Other Einstein,” Science 83, October 1983; reprinted in A Passion to Know, Allen L. Hammond, editor, New York, Scribner's, 1984.
  • “Are We Alone in Space?” television interview published in Newton's Apple, Los Angeles, General Communications Company of America, 1983.
  • “Beyond Newton and Einstein: On the Frontiers of Physics,” The New York Times Magazine, September 26, 1982.
  • “The Spectral Messenger,” Science 81, October 1981.
  • “Prepare for Exhilaration,” Science Digest, September 1981.
  • “The Perfect Circle,” Science Digest, July 1981.
  • “The Purest Skies of Night,” Geo, February 1981.
  • “Telescope Viewed as Time Machine,” Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, December 12, 1980.
  • “Cosmic Dialog,” Science Digest Summer 1980.
  • “The Star Weavers,” Newsweek Focus, 1980.
  • “Black Holes,” from The Red limit, in Sagan, Carl, A Reader/Study Guide for Cosmos, prepared by Ann Elwood and linda Wood, New York, Random House, 1980.
  • “A Conversation With Lewis Thomas,” Smithsonian, April 1980.
  • “On the Tenth of Apollo Eleven,” Galileo, September 1979.
  • “Navigators Who Probe the Mysteries of Deep Space,” The New York Times Magazine, April l, 1979; reprinted in Science of the Times 3, New York, Arno Press, 1979.
  • “Crucibles of the Cosmos,” The New York Times Magazine, January 14, 1979; New York Times Syndicate, 1979; reprinted in Readers' Digest, May 1979; Science of the Times 3, 1979; The living World of Nature, Readers' Digest Press, 1980.
  • “Seeking an End to Cosmic Loneliness,” The New York Times Magazine, October 23, 1977; reprinted in Science of the Times 2, 1979.
  • “The Odyssey and the Ecstasy: The Viking's Search for life on Mars,” Rolling Stone, April 7, 1977; reprinted in Rolling Stone: The 70s, little, Brown, 1998.
  • “Solid State Fun,” Esquire, March 1977.
  • “The Universe as an Ocean of Thought,” Harper's, July 1975.
  • “All That Glitters is not God,” Rolling Stone, January 30, 1975; reprinted in Paul Scanlon, editor, Reporting: The Rolling Stone Style, New York, Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1977.
  • Interview with Erich von Daniken, Playboy, August 1974.
  • “Raquel Welch Speaks Her Mind,” Rolling Stone, August 29, 1974.
  • “Where Does it all End? A Debate About the Edge of the Universe,” Harper's, June 1974.
  • “Hometown Folks: Letters from American Political Prisoners,” The Rolling Stone Reader, New York, Warner library, 1974.
  • “A Special Report: Is the Free Press In Danger?” Rolling Stone, April 26, 1973.
  • “How Do We Know Where We Are If We've Never Been Anywhere Else? Cosmological Perspectives,” Rolling Stone, March 15, 1973.
  • “A Conversation With Carl Sagan,” Rolling Stone, June 7, 1973.
  • “A Chat With David Brinkley,” Rolling Stone, September 14, 1972.
  • “Turning Off the Sun,” New York Post Magazine, March 7, 1970.
  • “If Man Goes to Mars He Goes to a Mystery,” New York Post Magazine, July 24, 1969.
  • “Mars: Can It Sustain life?” New York Post Magazine, July 23, 1969.


Rocky Hill Observatory

Rocky Hill Observatory features a custom-made 18" F/4.5 Newtonian reflecting telescope in a carbon fiber tube on a restored 1972-vintage Beyers mount and a Bisque control system. Scenes from the observatory appear in Timothy Ferris's film “Seeing in the Dark”.

 
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