Talk:Contents of the Voyager Golden Record

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The rationale behind the creation of a separate page for the contents of the Voyager Golden Record was that the original article was missing a list of all the images contained on the record and adding them would have made the article too lengthy. Currently, it is not possible to include any image as thumbnails in the table because they are all copyrighted, but I am confident that in the near future, they will be released to the public (they are all 40 year old after all) and will be added to wikipedia's media collection. The same goes with all sounds and music present on the record.

So this article is about the media contained in the records while the Voyager Golden Record article is about the records themselves, the context of their creation and their philosophical implications.Tinss (talk) 19:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)


The Voyager Golden Record article mentions two texts (by Jimmy Carter and Kurt Waldheim) that were sent along with the records in space and gives and excerpt of one. I could not find integral versions anywhere one the web. If anyone does, please add them to this article in their respective sections.Tinss (talk) 19:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

also no word as to how these texts where encoded and where these were placed on the disk... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:59, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Greetings: Indo-European languages[edit]

I don't want to make this an edit war, so rather than editing this change, I'm discussing it here. (1) By my count, there are 30 (not 28) Indo-European languages represented on the disk. (2) I would suggest that, to make the comment uniform with the others, that the Indo-European languages be marked - or, rather, as the non-Indo-European languages are a minority, that the 25 (or am I wrong on my count?) non-Indo-European be marked. (3) Which leads to the situation of several languages bearing two marks. (4) I realize that I contributed to the expansion of marks by marking the ancient languages, which I did with some concern that this would be reverted (I could make an argument for why that is notable, but I would not push it); but does anyone else find the IE/non-IE not particularly interesting? TomS TDotO (talk) 15:15, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I added the IE thing, because I thought the (expectable) "over-representation" of Indoeuropean languages ( > 50% of the selected languages, but only about 1/4 of the world population), would be interesting. (1) I counted again and you're right with 30, I miscounted myself. (2) I, personally, would not mark the IE- or non-IE-languages (3) I don't think it'd be a problem, if some languages had two marks. F. F. Fjodor (talk) 15:50, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I just checked the article Indo-European languages and it has an estimate of 3 billion speakers of IE languages, which is roughly half of the world's population, so IE languages don't seem too disproportionally represented. I don't have any strong feelings about this, but I just wondered why you brought up the point. TomS TDotO (talk) 17:57, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh, my fault. I'll remove it. F. F. Fjodor (talk) 19:26, 8 March 2011 (UTC)


I don't know whether the record has greetings in Armenian or in Azerbaijani. But I find it suspicious that after a long time with Armenian being listed, it suddenly is changed by an anonymous editor without any reference or discussion. I would at least like a little discussion of this. I don't like to get into edit wars. TomS TDotO (talk) 10:15, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I just did a quick search of the web, and came across this, which seems to indicate that Armenian is on the record [1] TomS TDotO (talk) 10:20, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Somebody has a thing about replacing Armenian with Azerbaijani, but doesn't want to give any reason for the replacement, and doesn't want to discuss it. If I don't get any response, I see nothing that I can do other than escalate the issue. TomS TDotO (talk) 18:03, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I have undone the changes myself in order avoid getting you guys in an edit war. I also added references where it mentions Armenian and a comment in the source to direct the anonymous editor to the discussion page if he wants to justify himself. I do not speak either language but for all I know, Azerbaijan is neighbor to Armenia so there may be a minority of Azerbaijani speakers in Armenia and while NASA got the greeting from the later country, they may have gotten the language wrong.Tinss (talk) 18:41, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I don't want to get into an edit war, particularly when I have so little information to go on. TomS TDotO (talk) 11:15, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

German most represented[edit]

Hey, I don't want to fight, I just want to discuss something. The article states that Germany is the most represented country on the record. However one of the arguments is Mozart, who is nowadays considered to be part of Austrian identity and was born and lived all his life in what is today modern Austria. Also he worked as a musician to the Austrian court. How was it deemed that he represents Germany, thus making it the most represented country? I know its hard to speak about modern nationalities when it comes to medieval personas, but then it might be wise to just omit this statement. --dimi_z (talk) 23:43, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I believe you are correct in stating that this part is very debatable. On top of that, it is also pointless and not pertinent. I am all for deleting that statement; you get the privilege of correcting it.Tinss (talk) 19:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree . I wanted to make a similar suggestion myself just to find out that I'm not the first one. ;-) Alfie↑↓© 19:47, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Whales and UN delegates[edit]

Whales were removed, in order to match the reference.

However, Sagan specifically mentions whales in Traveller's Tales; Additionally, which seems to include an almost complete copy of the actual tracks (?) lists these sections of audio:

  1. Greetings from the Secretary General of the UN (0:46)
  2. Greetings in 55 languages (4:24)
  3. UN Greetings / Whale Greetings (4:04 - the last minute of this is whale sounds)
  4. The Sounds of Earth (12:25)
  5. [music tracks...]

So, we (and the source) seem to be entirely missing the 3rd section. Can anyone find a source for the specific contents of this section? The whale sound is well-explained in this article, but I can't find a list of the UN Greetings anywhere. (The audio is widely available, and one of the English language components starts at 1:06, but google isn't finding the quote anywhere useful...). —Quiddity (talk) 23:07, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Excerpts (transcribed from youtube) include:
  • "I should like to extend the greetings of the government and people of Canada, to the extraterrestrial inhabitants of outer space"
  • "I wish to extend greetings and friendly wishes to all who may encounter this voyager and receive this message"
  • "My dear friends in outer space, as you probably know my country is situated in the West coast of the continent of Africa, a land mass more or less in the shape of a question mark ..."
I still can't find any sources :/ —Quiddity (talk) 23:45, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I was confused by the same question, but after some digging I found an article on the net stating that the verbose UN delegate recordings were recorded at an earlier stage of the project and were ultimately left out, replaced by the short greetings described here. -- LWG talk 22:11, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks for the note. I've added a sentence summarizing this (but it could of course be improved). Hopefully further accurate details will be added, over time. :) Quiddity (talk) 19:26, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

55 vs. 56 languages?[edit]

Does anyone know how to account for the discrepancy in numbers? The one extra language listed here that NASA does not include on its official web page is Esperanto, but why would this not be mentioned by NASA? Also worth noting is the fact that NASA just includes Greek and does not differentiate between ancient and modern Greek, whereas Latin and Italian each have their own greetings. I think this needs to be clarified, but I'd like some more information before I make those edits. Cheers, -- Not Sure (talk) 01:31, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

OK, after some back and forth with an editor on the German WP , I think I figured out what the issue is. There are 55 greetings in 55 different languages. However, in a separate section called UN greetings (available online here) , there is also a sentence in Esperanto. So there may well be some languages not yet accounted for, but until we've figured those out I'm going to change the article back to 55. Cheers, Not Sure (talk) 01:49, 16 March 2013 (UTC)


Just moved "Hail" to the right column. See

Request to Jom Lomberg for release of pictures to the public domain[edit]

I've sent Jon Lomberg an e-mail asking him if he was willing to release the images in the Voyager Golden Record he owns to the public domain. Sadly, his response was negative, but maybe it would be worthwhile to go bother him again in a couple of years. I've pasted the exchange here for the record.Tinss (talk) 21:56, 16 December 2014 (UTC)


Good day Mr. Lomberg,
A couple years ago, I wrote a Wikipedia article on the contents of the Voyager Golden Record, you can read it here. It has been immensely popular, getting over 8000 views per month and many more when the spacecraft gets news coverage.
The article features a crude list of images contained within the record, but I was only able to include those published by NASA as they are copyright free, which is too bad because readers would greatly benefit from having access to all the images.
I am contacting you today to see if you would be considering releasing the images contained within the Voyager Golden Record that you own in the public domain for use on Wikipedia and inclusion on this article but with due credit of course. Below is the list of the concerned images:
Thank you.


Dear xxxxxxx,
Thank you for your message. I am not prepared to offer these imagess into the public domain at :this time.
With best wishes,
Jon Lomberg

Encoding of the images[edit]

How the images are encoded? Resolution, color scheme, etc.? How this encoding is "explained" to the aliens? --RokerHRO (talk) 11:34, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi RokerHRO, it's all explained in the playback section of the Voyager Golden Record article. If you think a an explanation of the playback technique should be added to this article, feel free to add one.Tinss (talk) 17:07, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Renaming article to List of Content of the Voyager Golden Record[edit]

Anyone thinks the name of the article should be changed? It is very much a list after all. Tinss (talk) 18:49, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Total Data Capacity of the Record[edit]

I haven't been able to find info on this anywhere. Does anyone know what the total capacity of the disk was (in terms of running time of audio at the intended rpm)? I know I could just total up the listed contents but I am interested more specifically in a sense of the "budget" they were working with in selecting the contents of the disk. -- LWG talk 16:18, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Hey LWG! There's a discussion about that on the record's talk page. I came up with 90 minutes (for both sides and assuming the record was similar to an LP vinyl read at half speed) of audio and 1741.5 MB of data. In the case of the data capacity, I think it's an over estimation.Tinss (talk) 16:59, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
That is about what I had ballparked it at, but that is not enough space to hold all the content this article asserts was included. -- LWG talk 04:01, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
I've revisited my answer above, if the disk is an LP read at half speed, it holds 45 minutes of audio per side and not 90 minutes as previously mentioned. Still, you are correct about this being not enough capacity to hold all the disk's contents. In this case, I suppose the grooves of the disk are spaced closer together than those of a normal LP vinyl to allow for greater data density and increased storage capacity. Something plausible given the record is made of gold-plated copper, which is certainly more durable than plastic. Tinss (talk) 05:26, 15 November 2016 (UTC)