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### COSMIC CODE

Computers are essential tools in the efforts to collect and analyze new data about gamma-ray bursts. The language that a computer speaks is binary numbers. When you type the letters d-o-g on the keyboard the computer does not see a d, an o, or a g. The computer interprets it as a series of ones and zeroes. Binary numbers are based on the base-2 system as opposed to the base-10 system with which we work on a daily basis. Units in the base-10 system are labeled ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. Base-2 units are labeled one, two, four, eight, sixteen, etc. Look at the chart below. The base-10 numbers 8, 28, 50, and 129 have been written in base-2 for you.

 512 (29) 256 (28) 128 (27) 64 (26) 32 (25) 16 (24) 8 (23) 4 (22) 2 (21) 1 (20) 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 28 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 50 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 129 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

The next column in the chart would be the units 1024, then 2048, then 4096, and so on.

Below is a coded message. Use the decoder to crack the binary code and translate the gamma-ray fact. The message is displayed from left to right horizontally. Here is an example of how to use the decoder:

000100 = 4 = d

001111 = 15 = o

000111 = 7 = g

Divide the class into groups. Cut the message into horizontal strips and distribute one strip to each group. Have each group decode their part of the message. Once they have decoded their strip, have them place their work on the board. The pieces of the decoded message must then be put in the proper order to reveal the gamma-ray fact.

COSMIC CODE MESSAGE DECODER

1 = A 18 = R

2 = B19 = S

3 = C20 = T

4 = D21 = U

5 = E22 = V

6 = F23 = W

7 = G24 = X

8 = H25 = Y

9 = I26 = Z

10 = J27 = 1

11 = K28 = 2

12 = L29 = 3

13 = M30 = 4

14 = N31 = 5

15 = O32 = .

16 = P33 = ,

17 = Q34 = !

COSMIC CODE MESSAGE

 000111 000001 010100 010100 000101 010010 000111 001000 000101 000001 011001 010011 001001 010011 000101 000011 100000 000001 011001 001000 000101 010100 001101 001000 000101 010010 001101 000010 010111 010010 000011 000100 001001 001101 010011 000101 001110 001001 001111 010100 010101 010011 001101 10101 000101 010011 001111 000010 000100 001101 000001 001101 000101 000011 000110 001001 001110 000101 000001 010010 010010 010100 010110 011001 000101 000001 010010 001111 010010 000110 001100 001110 001001 100010 010010 010011 000101 000100 000101 000001 001110 010010 000101 010011 000111 001111 001001 010100 010110 000111 000001 010100 000110 001001 010010 000011 010100