In 1977 NASA launched two probes, Voyager I and II, into space.
Their main purpose was to obtain data from the 'gas giants' (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), but once past they would continue on into space in the hope of contacting extra-terrestrial life.
For this reason they carried a gold-coated phonograph record which would contain the essence of humanity and you can now stream this on BBC Radio 3. Astronomer and author Carl Sagan was asked to assemble a small team to carry out the daunting task of compressing our world into 90 minutes - the ultimate edit you might say.
A member of the team, Ann Druyan, said in the NASA blog: "The chances of aliens finding the Voyagers in the vast emptiness of space are small—some say infinitesimal—but we took our jobs seriously. From the moment when Carl first broached the project to Tim Ferris and me, it felt mythic."
The final contents were: 118 photographs; 90 minutes of music; greetings in 55 human languages and one whale language; an audio essay with different sound effects; a statement from the Secretary General of the United Nations; and the brain waves of a young woman in love.
It is this final item that is most intriguing - why and how would you add such an item?
Druyan came up with the idea: "We know that EEG patterns register some changes in thought. Would it be possible, I wondered, for a highly advanced technology of several million years from now to actually decipher human thoughts?"
The other members of the team thought it was a good idea and volunteered Ann to be monitored while she prepared a script of culture and philosophy.
Now it just so happened that in the rush to complete the recording Druyan and Sagan had fallen in love and agreed to get married. So when the EEG recording took place, Druyan's mind was buzzing with the happiness and thoughts of being in love.
"My feelings as a 27 year old woman, madly fallen in love, they're on that record,” says Druyan. "It's forever. It'll be true 100 million years from now."
Whether or not aliens will know what to make of such a recording is anyone's guess but it certainly makes for a great story and perhaps a fitting tribute to humanity.