Where might I find details about the pulsar map written on the Voyager's golden record?

enter image description here

This diagram defines the location of our Sun utilizing 14

pulsars of known directions from our sun. The binary

code defines the frequency of the pulses.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Here is probably the best place: johnstonsarchive.net/astro/pulsarmap.html $\endgroup$
    – polynomial
    Commented Sep 18, 2011 at 3:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @polynomial: You should probably promote that into an answer. The link seems to cover everything. $\endgroup$
    – Warrick
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ I just read that link. Whoa! As much as you'd ever want to know about it. But I think the difficulties in interpreting the numbers are greatly overstated, especially determining the unit of time. If we were to receive a message including a bunch of numbers to 1E10 precision, I would take all the ratios and then compare them to the ratios of every two comparable numbers in every database I could find. Given the massive supercomputers an ETI civ would have to have, it wouldn't take long. That procedure only requires intuiting that all the numbers represent similar quantities. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 1:28

1 Answer 1


Like Polynomial said, and I concur, Wikipedia points to the excellent web page on the pulsar map as an answer.

Since I can't promote Polynomia's comment to the answer I'll post this as the answer. Good question, and a good web site.

  • $\begingroup$ The wikipedia page is newer than this question ... $\endgroup$
    – mate64
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ The linked page is dated 2007, this answer is dated 2012, and I'm reading it in 2017. Some day this link may go dead at which point this link-only answer will become an absolute non-answer. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 13:38

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