Exactly 40 years before today the first Voyager space probe (which was called Voyager 2; Voyager 1 started 16 days after Voyager 2) launched. At a distance of about 115 AU (1.72?10[SUP]10[/SUP] km) from the Sun as of August 2017, Voyager 2 is one of the most distant human-made objects, along with Voyager 1 (~139.5 AU as of August 2017; still working), New Horizons (~39 AU as of August 2017; still working), Pioneer 10 (estimated 114 AU as of January 2016; last contact in January 2003) and Pioneer 11 (estimated around 95.3 AE as of February 2016; last contact in November 1995).
It seems the optimism of the 1970's has been lost since the probe New Horizon which started in 2006 doesn't carry any form of message to a possible alien life form.
See? That's the attitude I spoke of. Of course the chances are slim, but putting some form of message into a space probe is just a drop in the ocean regarding efforts, costs and weight so the chances increase with every space probe we launch which carries a message.
It also stands to reason that any space faring alien race that would pick up such a message and make it here in a reasonable amount of time would be technologically superior to us. Therefore advertising where we are and the fact that we are still in the very early stages of space travel (as must be pretty evident to any alien race by Voyager using chemical rockets) might not be the best idea. Let's hope that any aliens we shall ever meet will be more Vulcan and less Klingon or Borg.
Interesting experience being that close to the eclipse. Never went completely dark and didn't see the ring, but cooled off quite a bit. My dad and brother went into the path of totality. Said they could see the ring and the corona. I'll try to make it to the path on April 8th, 2024...
It was about as dark as a medium thunderstorm rolling in. Nothing that spectacular this far north. Still an interesting experience. Birds stopped chirping, only crickets and grasshoppers were making noise and it got cooler out.
I went to Oregon to see the eclipse and to get into the path of totality. Here are the shots I took using my telescope and a point-and-shoot digital camera. Also the rental SUV, my wife, and dog. https://goo.gl/photos/VjVa5uBqu6qermdu7