Did you know that people released a compilation of who humans are into space? Yes, they did! In fact, there are two of them, and they are known collectively as the “The Golden Record” because they’re golden in color. Interestingly, the Golden Records are still playing in space––even though they were released aboard identical Voyager spacecrafts back in 1977! But what’s on the file? And how did they decide what to put on it?
The committee that chose what was going to be on the Golden Record was chaired by American astronomer Carl Sagan. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he co-wrote and presented the original Cosmos in the 1980s.
Many different types of media were put on the Golden Record. They included everything from everyday sounds, like footsteps, to music. The tunes that were chosen ranged from classical to pop to traditional Peruvian wedding songs. Some images that were put on the Voyager depicted a track race, an x-ray, various math equations, and a rocket. They also included humans speaking in 55 languages.
The Golden Record is a fascinating symbol of what we want aliens to know. Until we see signs of life, we’ll just have to trust that it’s still on Voyager, playing for all of space to listen.