MESSAGES TO ET
Bolted to the underside of each of the Voyager probes is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disc, the Golden Record. It’s a time capsule of Earth as it was in 1977, laden with images, music and diagrams: a message for any alien civilisation that might chance across it.
The contents offer a snapshot of human life and our place in the Universe. Among its
116 images (five of which are shown here) are depictions of human anatomy, plants and animals, landscapes and scenes of everyday life. There are audio greetings in 55 languages, some ‘Earth sounds’ and 90 minutes of music, including works by Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, a Navajo chant, a Peruvian wedding song and Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode. It also carries a recording of the brainwaves of Voyager team member Ann Druyan, in the hope that another race might be able to decipher them.
1 Eat up!
This unusual image demonstrates how we lick, eat and drink. You drink like this too, right?
2 Wonderful wildlife
Pictures of our planet’s animals include dolphins, an eagle, a crocodile, an elephant, and this cute toad.
3 Solar spectrum
The disc features the Sun’s spectrum of light in visible colours, perhaps to help aliens identify the Sun.
4 Engineering marvel
The Great Wall of China is one of our most famous structures. Despite rumours, it is not visible from space.
5 Human athleticism
Sporting activities feature in several images – also included are photos of runners and a mountain climber.