Listen in: Sounds of Voyager’s ‘golden record’ now on SoundCloud

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Golden Record

WASHINGTON — Call it “Music for Extraterrestrials” — now available for humans.

In 1977, NASA sent two probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, into the cosmos. Both were equipped with “golden records,” phonograph recordings (how quaint that seems now!) of Earth sounds, along with images of human existence and scientific basics. Yes, the package also included a cartridge and needle.

A team led by Carl Sagan oversaw the content.

The audio portion of the golden records included music from Beethoven, Mozart, Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry, as well as a message from then-President Jimmy Carter. (The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” was intended for inclusion, but the idea was allegedly shot down by EMI, the group’s label.)

NASA has now uploaded the contents of the golden record to SoundCloud so humans — many of whom weren’t alive when Voyager 1 was launched into the universe — can hear what the aliens would hear.

This artist's concept depicts NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by the plasma, or ionized gas, that was ejected by the death of nearby giant stars millions of years ago.  The environment inside our solar bubble is dominated by the plasma exhausted by our sun, known as the solar wind. The interstellar plasma is shown with an orange glow similar to the color seen in visible-light images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope that show stars in the Orion nebula traveling through interstellar space.

This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by the plasma, or ionized gas, that was ejected by the death of nearby giant stars millions of years ago. The environment inside our solar bubble is dominated by the plasma exhausted by our sun, known as the solar wind. The interstellar plasma is shown with an orange glow similar to the color seen in visible-light images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope that show stars in the Orion nebula traveling through interstellar space.

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