Figure. The Pioneer 10 plaque, launched on March 2, 1972, and now more than 7 billion miles from Earth. The art historian Ernst Gombrich offers the following commentary on the intriguing artifact above, pointing out the sensory, cognitive, and cultural contexts needed to interpret the drawing as NASA intended: "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has equipped a deep-space probe with a pictorial message 'on the off-chance that somewhere on the way it is intercepted by intelligent scientifically educated beings.' These beings would first of all have to be equipped with 'receivers' among their sense organs that respond to…
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