Sounds of the universe.

When NASA launched the two Voyager spacecraft in 1977, the space boffins decided to send out a “cultural handshake” to any intelligent life they might encounter.

The ‘Golden Record’ contains a NASA-approved selection of the world’s sounds and music, from Chuck Berry to erupting volcanoes, Stravinsky to Australian aboriginal song, field recordings of animals to “hello” in 55 languages. Hand-etched on its surface were the words, “To the makers of music – all worlds, all times”.

Earlier this month BBC Radio 3 broadcast a show with the same title showcasing a selection of the amazing sounds included on the Golden Record, which makes for such a bewildering listening experience that frankly it’s no wonder we haven’t heard from the little green men yet.

Stream the hour-long show via BBC iPlayer. If you can’t use iPlayer, you can still hear the sounds separately here.

Astro-inclined producers looking for samples should check out NASA’s Soundcloud, with high-def space sounds from Apollo 11’s launch to passing comets. [H/T Phil Hebblethwaite]

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