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Humans sent aliens a detailed, gold-plated message about Earth
The Voyager is carrying a cryptic message for the extraterrestrials.
The precursors of the Voyager - the Pioneers 10 and 11 both carried a metal plaque which provides information about their time and lace of origin which will help other spacefarers that might find them in the future.
Taking cues from the Pioneers, NASA placed a more ambitious message on the Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule that is meant to communicate with the extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is contained in a phonograph record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk that has images and audio files which portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.
The contents that will be saved on the record was handpicked for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University and his associates. They assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds like the ones made from surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales, and other animals.
Additionally, they selected music from different cultures and eras and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages. It also has printed messages from President Carter and U.N. Secretary General Waldheim.
"The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space."
Each record is kept in a protective aluminum jacket, together with a needle and a cartridge. It also includes symbolic language that depicts the origin of the spacecraft and indicates how the record is in audio
The images are stored in analog form. The rest of the record is an audio file, which is meant to be played at 16-2/3 revolutions per minute.
After the different sounds of Earth are over, there is a 90-minute selection of music, including both Western and Eastern classics and some ethnic music. The Voyager will take at least forty thousand years before they make a close approach to any other planetary system.
As Carl Sagan has noted, "The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet."