Science and Popular Culture

The Golden Record: Carl Sagan’s Interstellar Portrait of Humanity

New York | 27 July

The Voyager Golden Record is a unique audio-visual time capsule developed by NASA and affixed to the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts. Designed to communicate to possible space-faring civilizations something of the diversity of life and culture on our world, the Golden Record consisted of greetings in 59 human languages and those of the humpback whales, 115 images of life here, the sounds of Earth, and 27 pieces from the world’s musical traditions. It has been called the beginning of the concept of “world music.”

It was Voyager 1 that looked homeward from high above Neptune to take, at Carl Sagan’s behest, the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph. Upon flawlessly completing the first phase of their mission, the NASA Voyagers 1 and 2 made for the open sea of interstellar space, teaching us the actual shape of our solar system as it moves through the galaxy. The Golden Record is an unparalleled document in the history of space exploration and our civilization.

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s personal copy of the master recording for NASA’s iconic Voyager Golden Record will be offered in Sotheby’s Space Exploration auction in New York on 27 July as a part of Geek Week: Remixed.

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.