The 116 images NASA wants aliens to see
Surreal and humbling to see the 116 images that NASA chose to represent humanity on The Golden Record. These may be all that is left of us one day.
When Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched into space in 1977, their mission was to explore the outer solar system. Over the following decade, they sent back significant imagery and information about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
NASA knew that after the planetary tour was complete, they would remain on a trajectory toward interstellar space. Since they will orbit the Milky Way for the foreseeable future, the Voyagers should carry a message from their maker, NASA scientists decided.
The Golden Record Committee led by famous astronomer Carl Sagan were appointed. They chose a copper phonograph LP and over the course of six weeks they produced the "Golden Record": a collection of sounds and images to represent humanity. To be found by intelligent life in distant galaxies.
With little to erode it in space, it will likely outlast any human artifacts on earth or even earth itself as humans become extinct from earth in 5 billion years time.
-116 images encoded in analog form depicting scientific knowledge, human anatomy, human endeavors, and the terrestrial environment. (They appear in color in the video, but on the record, all but 20 are black and white.)
-Spoken greetings in more than 50 languages.
-A compilation of sounds from Earth.
-Nearly 90 minutes of music from around the world.
-A message from the president of the United States:
Interestingly, they chose not to include images of war, poverty, disease, crime, ideology or religion. Maybe this reflects our highest ideals, what we perceive our lasting legacy should be and what we should aim for especially when they make up such a dominant part of the current human experience.