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Sci-Tech

NASA's Golden Record made for alien ears now on SoundCloud

An album full of dogs, weather and human noises meant for the listening enjoyment of extraterrestrials is now available in its entirely for online streaming.

The Golden Record traveled into space in the late 1970s. NASA

Ah, the sounds of Earth. We Earthlings listen to them all the time. A baby cries. A bus rolls by. The wind keens and rain falls. These sounds and many more are included on NASA's Golden Record, a compendium of the sounds of our planet that traveled out into space with the twin Voyager 1 and 2 missions in 1977.

The phonograph disk itself was 12 inches and made from copper plated in gold. Previously, the tracks on the album were available as individual clips, but NASA this week released them as a whole recording available to listen to on streaming music service SoundCloud.

You can pretend you're an alien way out somewhere in the universe, encountering a Voyager spacecraft and listening to an audio introduction to what Earth was like in 1977. You'll hear crickets, footsteps, Morse code, laughter, fire, a barking dog and an elephant.

The sounds on the record were chosen by a committee headed up by famed astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan. As NASA notes, it was "intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials."

The Golden Record was created before the age of the Internet. Would a new Golden Record today skip the sounds of a horse and cart and instead include a cell phone ringing or the clicking of a computer keyboard? While you contemplate that question, take a few moments to listen through the original recording and flash back to what people in 1977 wanted aliens to hear about our humble planet.