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Contents of the Voyager Golden Record

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Title: Contents of the Voyager Golden Record  
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Contents of the Voyager Golden Record

A copy of the record on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington Dulles International Airport

The Voyager Golden Record contains 116 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind, and thunder, and animal sounds, including the songs of birds and whales. The record additionally features musical selections from different cultures and eras, spoken greetings in fifty-nine languages,[1][2] and printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. The items were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University.

After NASA had received criticism over the nudity on the Pioneer plaque (line drawings of a naked man and woman), the agency chose not to allow Sagan and his colleagues to include a photograph of a nude man and woman on the record. Instead, only a silhouette of the couple was included.[3]

Here is an excerpt of President Carter's official statement placed on the Voyager spacecraft for its trip outside our solar system, June 16, 1977:

We cast this message into the cosmos ... Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some – perhaps many – may have inhabited planets and space faring civilizations. If one such civilization intercepts Voyager and can understand these recorded contents, here is our message: This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe.[4]


The first audio section contains a spoken greeting in English from then-Secretary General of the UN, Kurt Waldheim.

The second audio section ("Greetings in 55 Languages") contains spoken greetings in 55 languages,[5] including four Chinese varieties (marked with **), 12 South Asian languages (marked #) and five ancient languages (marked §), listed here in alphabetical order:

Later audio sections contain the spoken greetings in the remaining four languages, including Esperanto and !Kung. The whale sounds were provided by Roger Payne.[7]

This is a list of the recorded greetings as they appear on the tracks[8]

Track Time Language Speaker[9][10] Original English translation
2 0:00:00 Sumerian David L. Owen 𒁲𒈠𒃶𒈨𒂗 silim-ma hé-me-en May all be well
2 0:00:04 Ancient Greek Frederick M. Ahl Οἵτινές ποτ'ἔστε χαίρετε! Εἰρηνικῶς πρὸς φίλους ἐληλύθαμεν φίλοι. Greetings to you, whoever you are. We come in friendship to those who are friends.[n 1]
2 0:00:11 Portuguese Janet Sternberg Paz e felicidade a todos Peace and happiness to everyone
2 0:00:14 Cantonese Stella Fessler 各位好嗎?祝各位平安健康快樂。 Go3 wai2 hou2 maa1? Zuk1 go3 wai2 peng4 ngon1 gin6 hong1 faai3 lok6. How's everyone? Wish you peace, health and happiness
2 0:00:19 Akkadian David L. Owen Adaniš lušumu May all be very well
2 0:00:22 Russian Maria Rubinova Здравствуйте! Приветствую Вас! Greetings! I Welcome You!
2 0:00:25 Thai Ruchira Mendiones สวัสดีค่ะ สหายในธรณีโพ้น พวกเราในธรณีนี้ขอส่งมิตรจิตมา­ถึงท่านทุกคน Hello friends from farland. We in this land have sent you warm greeting to you all
2 0:00:32 Arabic Amahl Shakh .تحياتنا للأصدقاء في النجوم. يا ليت يجمعنا الزمان Taḥiyyātunā lil-'aṣdiqā' fil-nujūm. Yā laytā yajma`unā al-zamān. Greetings to our friends in the stars. May time bring us together
2 0:00:38 Romanian Sanda Huffman Salutări la toată lumea Regards to everyone
2 0:00:42 French Alexandra Littauer Bonjour tout le monde Hello to everyone
2 0:00:45 Burmese Maung Myo Lwin နေကောင်းပါသလား Are you well
2 0:00:48 Hebrew David L. Owen שלום Shalom Hello (literally "peace")
2 0:00:50 Spanish Erik J. Beukenjamp Hola y saludos a todos Hello and greetings to everyone
2 0:00:54 Indonesian Ilyas Harun Selamat malam hadirin sekalian, selamat berpisah dan sampai bertemu lagi dilain waktu Good night, ladies and gentlemen. Goodbye and see you next time
2 0:00:59 Kechua (Quechua) Fredy Amikcar, Roncalla Fermandez Kay pachamamta niytapas maytapas rimapallasta runasimipi Hello to everybody from this Earth, in Kechua language
2 0:01:04 Punjabi Jatinder N. Paul Welcome home. It is a pleasure to receive you
2 0:01:07 Hittite David L. Owen Hail
2 0:01:08 Bengali Subrata Mukherjee নমস্কার, বিশ্বের শান্তি হোক Hello! Let there be peace everywhere
2 0:01:11 Latin Frederick M. Ahl Salvete quicumque estis; bonam ergo vos voluntatem habemus, et pacem per astra ferimus Greetings to you, whoever you are; we have good will towards you and bring peace across space
2 0:01:19 Aramaic David L. Owen 𐡌𐡋𐡔 or שלם or ܫܠܡ Šəlām Hello (literally "peace")
2 0:01:22 Dutch Joan de Boer Hartelijke groeten aan iedereen Dear/sincere greetings to everyone
2 0:01:24 German Renate Born Herzliche Grüße an alle Warm greetings to everyone
2 0:01:27 Urdu Salma Alzal اسلام و عليکم ـ ہم زمين کے رہنے والوں کى طرف سے آپ کو خوش آمديد کہتے ھيں Peace on you. We the inhabitants of this earth send our greetings to you
2 0:01:37 Vietnamese Tran Trong Hai Chân thành gửi tới các bạn lời chào thân hữu Sincere greetings to you
2 0:01:40 Turkish Peter Ian Kuriholm Sayın Türkçe bilen arkadaşlarımız, sabah şerifleriniz hayrolsun Dear Turkish-speaking friends, may the honors of the morning be upon your heads
2 0:01:45 Japanese Mari Noda こんにちは。お元気ですか? Konnichiwa. O genki desu ka? Hello. How are you?
2 0:01:48 Hindi धरती के वासियों की ओर से नमस्कार Greetings from the inhabitants of this world
2 0:01:51 Welsh Omar Alzal Iechyd da i chwi yn awr, ac yn oesoedd Good health to you now and forever
2 0:01:54 Italian Debby Grossvogel Tanti auguri e saluti Many greetings and wishes
2 0:01:57 Sinhalese Kamal de Abrew ආයුබෝවන්! Ayubowan! Wish You a Long Life.
2 0:02:00 Nguni (Zulu) Fred Dube We greet you, great ones. We wish you longevity
2 0:02:05 Sotho (Sesotho) Fred Dube We greet you, O great ones
2 0:02:08 Wu Yvonne Meinwald 祝你们大家好。(Zu ni men da jia hao) Best wishes to you all
2 0:02:12 Armenian[6] Araxy Terzian Բոլոր անոնց, որ կգտնվին տիեզերգի միգամածությունեն անդին ողջույններ To all those who exist in the universe, greetings
2 0:02:19 Korean Soon Hee Shin 안녕하세요 Please be well.
2 0:02:22 Polish Maria Nowakowska-Stykos Witajcie, istoty z zaświatów. Welcome, beings from beyond the world.
2 0:02:25 Nepali Durga Prashad Ojha प्रिथ्वी वासीहरु बाट शान्ति मय भविष्य को शुभकामना Wishing you a peaceful future from the earthlings
2 0:02:29 Mandarin Chinese Liang Ku 各位都好吧?我们都很想念你们,有空请到这来玩。 How's everyone? We all very much wish to meet you, if you're free please come and visit
2 0:02:35 Ila (Zambia) Saul Moobola We wish all of you well
2 0:02:38 Swedish Gunnel Almgren Schaar Hälsningar från en dataprogrammerare i den lilla universitetsstaden Ithaca på planeten Jorden Greetings from a computer programmer in the small university town of Ithaca on (the) planet Earth
2 0:02:45 Nyanja Saul Moobola How are all you people of other planets?
2 0:02:48 Gujarati Radhekeant Dave Greetings from a human being of the Earth. Please contact
2 0:03:03 Ukrainian Andrew Cebelsky Пересилаємо привіт із нашого світу, бажаємо щастя, здоров'я і многая літа We are sending greetings from our world, wishing you happiness, goodness, good health and many years
2 0:03:09 Persian Eshagh Samehyeh درود بر ساکنین ماورای آسمان‌ها Greetings to the residents of far skies
2 0:03:22 Serbian Milan M. Smijanic Желимо вам све најлепше са наше планете We wish you all the best, from our planet
2 0:03:25 Oriya Raghaba Prasada Sahu Greetings to the inhabitants of the universe from the third planet Earth of the star Sun
2 0:03:34 Ganda (Luanda) Elijah Mwima-Mudeenya Greetings to all peoples of the universe. God give you peace always
2 0:03:38 Marathi Arati Pandit नमस्कार. ह्या पृथ्वीतील लोक तुम्हाला त्यांचे शुभविचार पाठवतात आणि त्यांची इच्छा आहे की तुम्ही ह्या जन्मी धन्य व्हा. Greetings. The people of the Earth send their good wishes and hope you find good fortune in this life.
2 0:03:47 Amoy (Min dialect) Margaret Sook Ching See Gebauer 太空朋友,恁好!恁食飽未?有閒著來阮遮坐喔。 (Thài-khong pêng-iú, lín-hó. Lín chia̍h-pá--bē? Ū-êng, to̍h lâi gún chia chē--ô͘!) Friends of space, how are you all? Have you eaten yet? Come visit us if you have time
2 0:03:55 Hungarian (Magyar) Elizabeth Bilson Üdvözletet küldünk magyar nyelven minden békét szerető lénynek a Világegyetemen We are sending greetings in the Hungarian language to all peace-loving beings on the Universe
2 0:04:01 Telugu Prasad Kodukula నమస్తే, తెలుగు మాట్లాడే జనముననించి మా శుభాకాంక్షలు. Greetings. Best wishes from Telugu-speaking people
2 0:04:05 Czech V. O. Kostroun Milí přátelé, přejeme vám vše nejlepší Dear Friends, we wish you the best
2 0:04:08 Kannada (Kanarese) Shrinivasa K. Upadhaya ನಮಸ್ತೆ, ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಪರವಾಗಿ ಶುಭಾಷಯಗಳು. Greetings. On behalf of Kannada-speaking people, 'good wishes'
2 0:04:12 Rajasthani Mool C. Gupta Hello to everyone. We are happy here and you be happy there
2 0:04:18 English Nick Sagan Hello from the children of planet Earth Hello from the children of planet Earth
3 0:02:16 Esperanto Ralph Harry Ni strebas vivi en paco kun la popoloj de la tuta mondo, de la tuta kosmo. We strive to live in peace with the peoples of the whole world, of the whole cosmos.
4 0:06:25 !Kung, a San-language Richard Borshay Lee


The next audio section is devoted to the "sounds of Earth" that include:[11]

Included within the Sounds of Earth audio portion of the Golden Record is a track containing the inspirational message per aspera ad astra in Morse Code. Translated from Latin, it means, through hardships to the stars.


Following the section on the sounds of Earth, there is an eclectic 90-minute selection of music from many cultures, including Eastern and Western classics. The selections include:

Country Piece Author Performer(s) Recorded or collected by Genre of music Length
Germany Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement J. S. Bach Munich Bach Orchestra conducted by Karl Richter Baroque chamber music 4:40
Indonesia "Puspawarna" ("Kinds of Flowers") Mangkunegara IV Court gamelan of Pura Paku Alaman directed by K.R.T. Wasitodipuro Robert E. Brown Gamelan 4:43
Senegal Senegalese percussion Charles Duvelle Percussion 2:08
Zaire Pygmy girls' initiation song Colin Turnbull 0:56
Australia "Morning Star" and "Devil Bird" Sandra LeBrun Holmes Aboriginal songs 1:26
Mexico "El Cascabel" Lorenzo Barcelata Antonio Maciel y Las Aguilillas with El Mariachi México de Pepe Villa Mariachi 3:14
United States "Johnny B. Goode" Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Rock and roll 2:03
New Guinea Men's house song Robert MacLennan 1:20
Japan "Tsuru No Sugomori" 《鶴の巣籠り》 ("Crane's Nest") Goro Yamaguchi Shakuhachi 4:51
Germany "Gavotte en rondeau" from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin J. S Bach Arthur Grumiaux Baroque solo Violin 2:55
Austria Die Zauberflöte, Queen of the Night aria No. 14 Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Edda Moser (soprano) from the Bavarian State Opera, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch Classical opera 2:55
Soviet Union "ჩაკრულო" ("Tchakrulo") Traditional Georgian State Ensemble, directed by Anzor Kavsadze; soloists Ilia Zakaidze, Rostom Saginashvili[12][13] Radio Moscow Choral folk music 2:18
Peru Panpipes and drums Traditional Casa de la Cultura, Lima Panpipes and drum 0:52
United States "Melancholy Blues" Marty Bloom, Walter Melrose Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven Jazz 3:05
Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union "Mugam" Traditional Kamil Jalilov Radio Moscow Balaban 2:30
Russia/France/United States The Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance Stravinsky Columbia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Stravinsky Modernist classical ballet 4:35
Canada/Germany The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C major J.S. Bach Glenn Gould Kevin Doyle Baroque keyboard music 4:48
Germany Symphony No 5, First Movement Beethoven Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Otto Klemperer Romantic symphony 7:20
Bulgaria "Излел е Делю хайдутин" ("Izlel je Delyo Hajdutin") Valya Balkanska Ethel Rain and Martin Koenig Bulgarian folk 4:59
United States Night Chant Navajo Tribe Willard Rhodes Navajo chanting 0:57
United Kingdom "The Faerie Round" from Pavans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs Anthony Holborne David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London English consort music 1:17
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service Panpipes 1:12
Peru Wedding song John Cohen 0:38
China "Liu Shui" 《流水》 ("Flowing Streams") Bo Ya Kuan P'ing-hu Guqin 7:37
India "Jaat Kahan Ho" Kesarbai Kerkar Raga Bhairavi 3:30
United States "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" Blind Willie Johnson Blind Willie Johnson Blues 3:15
Germany Cavatina from the String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130 Beethoven Budapest String Quartet Romantic String Quartet 6:37

Sagan had originally asked for permission to include "Here Comes the Sun" from the Beatles' album Abbey Road. While the Beatles favoured it, EMI opposed it and the song was not included.[14]


The Golden Records also carried an hour long recording of the brainwaves of Ann Druyan, who would later marry Carl Sagan. In the Epilogue of the book Billions and Billions, she describes the experience:

Earlier I had asked Carl if those putative extraterrestrials of a billion years from now could conceivably interpret the brain waves of a meditator. Who knows? A billion years is a long, long time, was his reply. On the chance that it might be possible why don't we give it a try? Two days after our life-changing phone call, I entered a laboratory at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and was hooked up to a computer that turned all the data from my brain and heart into sound. I had a one-hour mental itinerary of the information I wished to convey. I began by thinking about the history of Earth and the life it sustains. To the best of my abilities I tried to think something of the history of ideas and human social organization. I thought about the predicament that our civilization finds itself in and about the violence and poverty that make this planet a hell for so many of its inhabitants. Toward the end I permitted myself a personal statement of what it was like to fall in love.[15]

On February 12, 2010, an interview with Ann Druyan was aired on National Public Radio (NPR) during which the above was explained in more detail.[16]


Along with the audio, the record contains a collection of 116 pictures (one of which is for calibration) detailing but not limited to human life on earth and the planet itself. Many pictures are annotated with one or many indications of scales of time, size or mass. Some images also contain indications of chemical composition. All measures used on the pictures are first defined in the first few images using physical references.

Following is a list of all the images contained in the Voyager Golden Record together with, when copyright permits, the actual image, a description of the nature of the image and what annotations were included in them.[17]

Position Thumbnail Description Type Annotations
1 Calibration circle Black and white diagram
2 Solar location map Black and white diagram
3 Mathematical definitions Black and white text
4 Physical unit definitions Black and white text
5 Solar system parameters Black and white text
6 Solar system parameters Black and white text
7 The Sun Black and white image
8 Solar spectrum Color image
9 Mercury Black and white image
10 Mars Black and white image Size
11 Jupiter Color image Size
12 Earth Color image Size
13 Egypt, Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula and the Nile Color image Chemical composition
14 Chemical definitions Color diagram Size
15 DNA Structure Color diagram Size
16 DNA Structure magnified, light hit Color diagram Size
17 Cells and cell division Black and white image Size
18 Anatomy 1 (Skeleton front) Color diagram
19 Anatomy 2 (Internal organs front) Color diagram
20 Anatomy 3 (Skeleton and muscles back) Color diagram
21 Anatomy 4 (Internal organs back) Color diagram
22 Anatomy 5 (Ribcage) Color diagram
23 Anatomy 6 (Muscles front) Color diagram Size
24 Anatomy 7 (Heart, lungs, kidneys and main blood vessels back) Color diagram
25 Anatomy 8 (Heart, lungs, kidneys and main blood vessels front) Color diagram
26 Human sex organs Black and white diagram Size
27 Diagram of conception Black and white diagram Size, time
28 Conception Color image
29 Fertilized ovum Black and white image Time
30 Fetus diagram Black and white diagram Size, time
31 Fetus Color image
32 Diagram of male and female Black and white diagram Size, time
33 Birth Black and white image
34 Nursing mother Color image
35 Father and daughter (Malaysia) Color image
36 Group of children Color image
37 Diagram of family ages Black and white diagram Mass, time
38 Family portrait Black and white image
39 Diagram of continental drift Black and white diagram Time
40 Structure of the Earth Black and white diagram Size, chemical composition
41 Heron Island (Great Barrier Reef of Australia) Color image
42 Seashore Color image
43 Snake River and Grand Tetons Black and white image
44 Sand dunes Color image
45 Monument Valley Color image
46 Forest scene with mushrooms Color image
47 Leaf Color image Size
48 Autumn Fallen leaves Color image
49 Snowflakes over Sequoia Color image
50 Tree with daffodils Color image Size
51 Flying insect with flowers Color image
52 Diagram of vertebrate evolution Black and white diagram
53 Seashell (Xancidae) Color image
54 Dolphins Color image
55 School of fish Color image
56 Tree toad Color image
57 Crocodile Color image
58 Eagle Color image Size
59 Waterhole Color image
60 Jane Goodall and chimps Color image
61 Sketch of bushmen Black and white diagram Size
62 Bushmen hunters Black and white image
63 Man from Guatemala Color image
64 Dancer from Bali Color image
65 Andean girls Color image
66 Thailand master craftsman Color image
67 Elephant Color image
68 Old man with beard and glasses (Turkey) Color image
69 Old man with dog and flowers Color image
70 Mountain climber Color image
71 Gymnast Color image Time
72 Sprinters (Valeriy Borzov of the U.S.S.R. in lead) Color image
73 Schoolroom Color image
74 Children with globe Color image
75 Cotton harvest Color image
76 Grape picker Color image
77 Supermarket Color image
78 Underwater scene with diver and fish Color image Chemical composition
79 Fishing boat with nets Color image
80 Cooking fish Color image
81 Chinese dinner party Color image
82 Demonstration of licking, eating and drinking Color image
83 Great Wall of China Color image
84 House construction (African) Color image
85 Construction scene (Amish country) Color image
86 House (Africa) Color image
87 House (New England) Color image
88 Modern house (Cloudcroft, New Mexico) Color image
89 House interior with artist and fire Color image
90 Taj Mahal Color image
91 English city (Oxford) Color image
92 Boston Color image
93 UN Building Day Color image
94 UN Building Night Color image
95 Sydney Opera House Color image Size
96 Artisan with drill Black and white image
97 Factory interior Color image
98 Museum Color image
99 X-ray of hand Color image
100 Woman with microscope Color image
101 Street scene, Asia (Pakistan) Color image
102 Rush hour traffic, India Color image
103 Modern highway (Ithaca, NY) Color image
104 Golden Gate Bridge Black and white image Size
105 Train Color image Size
106 Airplane in flight Color image
107 Airport (Toronto) Black and white image
108 Antarctic Expedition Color image
109 Radio telescope (Westerbork, Netherlands) Black and white image
110 Radio telescope (Arecibo) Color image Size
111 Page of book (Newton, System of the World) Color image
112 Astronaut in space Color image
113 Titan Centaur launch Color image
114 Sunset with birds Color image
115 String Quartet (Quartetto Italiano) Color image
116 Violin with music score (Cavatina) Color image

See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ Somewhat loose translation; per NASA.


  1. ^ Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, ISBN 0-679-43841-6
  2. ^ "Traveller's Tales [Carl Sagan Tribute Series, S01E16]". Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ Jon Lomberg: "Pictures of Earth". in Carl Sagan: Murmurs of Earth, 1978, New York, ISBN 0-679-74444-4
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Greetings to the Universe in 55 Different Languages".  
  6. ^ a b "Voyager(Languages): Armenian". Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Gambino, Megan (April 23, 2012). "What Is on Voyager's Golden Record?". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Voyager: Greetings in 55 languages". Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Voyager Interstellar Record – 3/31 UN Greetings Whale Greetings". Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ Sagan, Carl (1978). Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record.  
  11. ^ "Voyager – Spacecraft – Golden Record – Sounds of Earth".  
  12. ^ Linich, Carl (19 March 2008). "Ilia Zakaidze". Georgian Folk Singing. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Voyager 1977 - Georgian folk song "Chakrulo" in space - "ჩაკრულო" კოსმოსში". Youtube (interview with Anzor Erkomaishvili and others) (in Georgian). Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Sagan, Carl et al. (1978) Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-41047-5 (hardcover), ISBN 0-345-28396-1 (paperback)
  15. ^ Sagan, Carl (1997). Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium. Random House.  
  16. ^ Carl Sagan And Ann Druyan's Ultimate Mix Tape
  17. ^ "Greetings to the Universe in 55 Different Languages".  

External links

  • Official NASA JPL page about the Golden Record
  • Multimedia showcase with the contents of the Golden Record
  • Voyager Golden Record – all images, languages, and sounds –
  • The Infinite Voyager : The Golden Record - built by Lily Bui from MIT
  • Voyager 1 Audio on Internet Archive
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