Greetings from Earth

gold_record-browse1I’ve been on a kick recently to see if there’s a uniform greeting that the people of Earth have really created and disseminated to all parts of the galaxy. Luckily, there is. After lots of searching for things like “Hello from Earth” and “Greetings Aliens” and finding an endless stream of YouTube videos with 3 million hits featuring people running around in alien masks, I threw “NASA” into the search and struck gold. The greeting is actually an audio recording of Earthlings saying “Hello from the children of Planet Earth” in 55 different languages. There’s an album loaded with data floating around the far reaches of space, and it features music from our past, images, and natural earth sounds –  all are embedded on a golden record (left) — and the record itself is embossed with instructions on how to play it.  The surface is coated with a series of diagrams and symbols that were designed to be understood by any being, and they represent things like People, Lines, and 50% discounts on Omwiches during the month of December.  This all came from a committee that was chaired by Carl Sagan, and the record was launched on the Voyager spacecraft (Star Trek The Motion Picture, anyone?) in 1977.  At the time, Jimmy Carter said “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.”  Sidenote: a sampling of the actual sounds from Earth on the Golden Record include a heartbeat, footsteps, a wild dog, a tame dog, the first tools, a train, a jet, and a pulsar.  Sidenote 2: Carl Sagan wrote Contact. Huh.

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