[NAAPO Logo]

North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

Issue 3 Cover

Cosmic Search: Issue 3
(Volume 1 Number 3; Summer 1979)
[Item in magazine found on page 40]

In Review:
By: Editors

Murmurs of Earth by Carl Sagan, Frank Drake, Ann Druyan, Timothy Ferris, Jon Lomberg and Linda Sagan.

"Murmurs of Earth" is about the Voyager interstellar record. Is it a message for extraterrestrials or a message for ourselves? The chances of any extraterrestrial happening on it are exceedingly small but its significance for humanity is great because it mirrors us as we try to put our best foot forward for a possible interstellar encounter. Will it be a capsule of a great moment in human history as we enter a space age or will it be our epitaph?

"Murmurs of Earth" is an enthralling, thought-provoking account of the Voyager record, its message and how it came to be. Carl Sagan sets the tone, Frank Drake supplies technical details, Ann Druyan describes the sounds, Timothy Ferris the music, Jon Lomberg the pictures of earth while Linda Sagan details the Voyager's greetings. "Murmurs" is the inside story of the record, reflecting mankind's noblest aspirations as well as some of its foibles and hang-ups. The hassles over interstellar protocol are particularly revealing.

The Voyager record is a cameo of the earth and mankind's better side. The philosophy behind the record is perhaps best epitomized by President Jimmy Carter's message: "This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe."

"Murmurs of Earth" is for everyone — an enduring testament for all time.

— John Kraus

*Random House, New York, 1978 (273 pages. Hardbound).


Copyright © 1979-2005 Big Ear Radio Observatory, North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO), and Cosmic Quest, Inc.
Designed by Jerry Ehman.
Last modified: November 18, 2005.