What Voyager 1 Will Tell Aliens About Earth

Mark-Potts by Mark-Potts on Sep. 13, 2013

Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager 1's mission was to study our Solar System. It's been operating for over 36 years and as of this week, left the very Solar System it was meant to study. Now, in interstellar space, it is the farthest man-made object from Earth, 11.7 billion miles away.

The coolest part about Voyager 1, however, is not its mission but what it has on it: the Golden Record. This record contains sounds from earth, pictures of our culture, popular music from the 70s, spoken greetings from people in over 55 languages, and a message from Jimmy Carter. If aliens found it, they would be able to learn a lot about Earth.

The record contains instructions in symbolic language that explains what the satellite is, where it came from, its purpose, and how to play the record.

Carl Sagan, who helped curate the disc, said "the record is best seen as a time capsule or a symbolic statement more than a serious attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life."

Here are some of the sounds found on the disc:

Honestly, this starts off poorly. Everything is frightening. That music? Volcano noises? Why not start with sounds of kids laughing or people cheering or any other noise except for creepy instruments and destruction? (Listen to all the sounds here).

Jimmy Carter's message is "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." Boy, if that isn't uplifting I don't know what is! (Listen to all the messages here).

Aliens will also get select songs from Beethoven, Bach, and Chuck Berry. However, they'll never understand the importance of Marty McFly when it comes to Chuck Berry. (See all the musical selections here).

Finally, the photos included are interesting. They are mostly scientific measurements and details about humans and our lives, but some stick out. Like this guy from Guatemala.

Or this supermarket:

Or this kids with a globe:

"We can't go to Earth! It's surrounded by huge tiny humans!"

Quite a few of the pics are on Voyager 1's website. Check the others out (hint: there's a nursing woman pic for some reason).

Reading about Voyager 1 gives me some hope. Humans can do some amazing things when we put humans before nations and power. Voyager 1 has enough power to last until 2025. Then, it'll be dead, just floating in an ocean of nothing, waiting to be found be someone, or something.

- Mark (follow on Twitter)

DoucheVadar User

It would be hilarious if 36 years from now it came back to Earth from the other direction.

DoucheVadar User

It would be hilarious if 36 more years from now it comes back to Earth from the other direction.

anglina471 User


<b> my classmate's half-sister makes $72 an hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her check was $14009 just working on the internet for a few hours. here….♫♫>>blue48.ℂℴM<<♫♫ -->

Dean Buchanan
Dean Buchanan

AMBER ALERT! v-GER 1 MISSING FOR 36 YEARS. Someone call that cold case lady.

Denu187 User

Every one knows Aliens have already visited Earth, Will Smith saved us remember?

Amicizia-Amore-37 User

Veramente interessante da Amicizia e Amore agenzie matrimoniale

joa_nyc User

If they come they gonna be really dissapointed with miley cyrus and the new shitty music


Would this thing even survive an entry into a planet with life sustaining atmosphere? This is by far one of the coolest things mankind has done, but pining our hopes on this  is like counting on a message in a bottle.

123abcasdf User

I hope they download it and get a virus. That would make them mad. Then they would come to kill us because we gave them blue screen of death.

Donald-Neville-99 User

its the matrix, nothing is real ,only the aliens.....didn't you see the movie?

Jeff-Barber-298 User

We all tend to expect that any alien is smarter than us.

But what if they are just in the Bronze or Iron age?

Nenad Micic
Nenad Micic

"Humans can do some amazing things when we put humans before nations and power."

Billyraymontana User

aliens would find planet earth before finding that crap

Michael-Marohl-88 User

username3000... very arrogant to assume we are the only life in our galaxy to have space travel... just sayin

username3000 User

We are more likely to recover the instrument ourselves a few hundred years from now than an alien finding it.

Indiglow User

Should put the video of Miley Cyrus on it that way no one will ever attempt to invade Earth as they will see we are already doomed and punished enough.

Cool-Jon-1 User

CHUCK BERRY! The Greatest Musician to walk the Earth!

Matt-Kim-806 User

if we're overlords of the galaxy when this is found, by a far further behind race, I would like it if it humanized us

Mizogucci User

Voyager has cleared the solar system which means it is clear of our solar radiation and is in interstellar space. Any advanced aliens will see voyager traveling at an unnatural trajectory and will intercept decode and lead them straight to us. Then we are all dead.

rockdrumer Top Commenter

we should also have put a couple of pornos. You know.. to show 'them' how we reproduce

dasheroo User

We should have put Justin Bieber on there...duct taped to the outside!

Sathella User

@Jeff-Barber-298 Then it's a moot point as they would have no way of even getting to said satellite as their most advanced piece of technology would be the wheel while Voyager 1 is in INTERSTELLAR SPACE.

breakidiot User

@Michael-Marohl-88 He ever assumed anything. I think you're underestimating the sheer size of the universe. There's probably lots of other intelligent lifeforms out there, but unlikely close enough to ever make contact with us. Our own radio signals and communication attempts are pathetic on the scale of the universe.

RiotSt4rt3r User

@username3000 Given the vastness of space and the minuscule rate at which the vessel is traveling it will probably be us who finds it..... This scenario would be the equivalent of putting a note in a bottle into an ocean times, well an incomprehensible number. I believe in life outside of our planet, it is basically guaranteed... But for any of those life forms to find this vessel is well.. about the same chance of you hitting the mega millions jackpot consecutively for the rest of your life. But don't worry, as technology develops being able to distinguish distant planets that are capable of harboring life will happen. And from there our message will have a course. 

Marvin-Trandoshan-705 User

@Mizogucci Yep, a map of our solar system was also on board. Stephen Hawking once said: "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the native Americans."    

And that's not even far off, just look at us, destroyer of worlds.