NASA has uploaded to SoundCloud the recordings of various sounds on Earth that were carried on the two Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, to greet any extraterrestrials that the probes may encounter.
Among the sounds selected to represent all of humanity were recordings of rain, a mother and child, stone tools and a heartbeat.
The recordings have been online for years as clunky individual sound clips. But now, for the first time they are easy to listen to as NASA has uploaded them to SoundCloud, ‘popsci.com’ reported.
Listeners now do not have to click back and forth to hear the different tracks on NASA’s audio player, they can just listen to a continuous stream of clips.
Voyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched about two weeks later, on September 5, both carrying the Golden Records encoded with the sounds of Earth.
The phonograph record is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.
The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by the late astronomer Carl Sagan of Cornell University.
Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales, and other animals.
To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages.
There is also an eclectic 90-minute selection of music, including both Eastern and Western classics and a variety of ethnic music.
Both probes are now farther away from Earth than any other manmade object. Voyager 1 is about 12 billion miles from Earth.