In the summer of 1977, humans sent two spacecraft ad astra—to the stars. Last summer, the first of those two machines, Voyager 1, crossed beyond the bubble around our sun and into interstellar space, though we didn’t know it until this fall.
These spacecraft are our first emissaries to the cosmos, and they each bear a disc known as the Golden Record: 87.5 minutes of music, 116 pictures, a handful of other ephemera, selected to together tell of a small blue planet, circling a distant star, in an alien constellation.
What would you put on a mix tape sent to the heavens? In just a couple of months in 1977, Carl Sagan, Timothy Ferris, and Ann Druyan (whom Sagan later married) selected and tracked down 27 clips that captured both the beauty and the diversity of the world’s musical heritage: There’s a few minutes from the first movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, a Peruvian wedding song, and Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.
Read more. [Image: NASA]