You can now listen to NASA Voyager’s ‘Golden Record’, intended for aliens & future humans, on Soundcloud


The Golden Record
NASA/JPL

When NASA launched the Voyager 1 and 2 probes in 1977 to study the outer Solar System, they equipped them with an audio time capsule known as the ‘Golden Record’. The 12-inch golden phonographic record, which consists of sounds from life on Earth, was meant for any aliens or future humans to give them an auditory glimpse of what Earth was like in the 20th century.

And now NASA has treated present-day life on Earth to a treat – some of those recordings are now available on Soundcloud for your listening pleasure.

Artist's impression of Voyager 1
NASA/JPL

The snippets of the Golden Record recording include an assortment of sounds and audio: greetings from Earth in 50 ancient and modern languages, a crying baby being comforted by a mother, automobile sounds, animal noises, wind and rain, and Morse code. There’s also an electronic ‘Music of the Spheres’ recording, which imagines and emulates planetary motion as harmonies in a ‘celestial choir’ – inspired by Johannes Kepler’s Harmonices Mundi. And the Golden Record begins with an introductory statement by then US President Jimmy Carter.

It is also the same record that includes the brainwaves of Ann Druyan, who was collaborating on the Golden Record and falling in love with Carl Sagan at the time.

Both Voyager probes are currently on their way out to the star known as AC +79 3888 in their mission to explore interstellar space. Voyager 1 is believed to have passed the boundary of the heliosphere, the enormous magnetic bubble that encompasses our Solar System, and entered interstellar space in 2012 – though it will still take about 40,000 years for it to reach AC +79 3888.

You can view the real-time locations of both Voyagers on their NASA website.

  1. https://soundcloud.com/nasa?con=&dom=pscau&src=syndication
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/another-journey-through-cosmos-ann-druyan
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/another-journey-through-cosmos-ann-druyan
  4. http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/
  5. http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/
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