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Scientists are planning to contact aliens


Posted on Wednesday, 28 December, 2016 | Comment icon 95 comments

What would you put in a message to aliens ? Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 John Masterson, CSIRO
An organization in San Francisco is planning to send messages out to potentially habitable planets.
Known as METI ( Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence ), the group is hoping to communicate with an alien civilization by actively sending greeting messages out in to the cosmos.

The first target will be Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf situated only 4.2 light years away. Earlier this year astronomers discovered a terrestrial planet there that could have the potential to support life.

"If we want to start an exchange over the course of many generations, we want to learn and share information," said METI president and former SETI message composer Douglas Vakoch.

The organization is currently planning to send its first messages before the end of 2018.

"I'd be happy to see this done," said SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak.

"I think there's something to be learned, nothing to be feared, and at least the possibility of discovering something truly revolutionary: We have company nearby."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (95)

Tags: Extraterrestrial, METI


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #86 Posted by lost_shaman on 21 January, 2017, 3:49
You seem to be completely missing the point that Time is Relative, it slows down as velocity increases. This is my pet peeve, it is irksome to me when someone spouts this out like you've done here without acknowledging Relativistic effects like Length Contraction and Time Dilation among others. Telling me to "do the math" while you ignore Relativistic effects is ridiculous. You surely must be familiar with the Twin Paradox? This stuff is over a hundred years old and basic Special Relativity 101. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_paradox When you say "increasing amount of energy" I assume you ... [More]
Comment icon #87 Posted by Frank Merton on 21 January, 2017, 4:08
Time slows and distance and mass increases as one approaches the speed of light, but only within the framework of the thing accelerating.  The rest of the universe goes on as normal.  Hence the time dilation effect does you little good and those back home none at all.  (The real effect is not that time slows down, but that your motion in time is transferred into motion in another dimension).
Comment icon #88 Posted by Hammerclaw on 21 January, 2017, 11:36
A feature that emerges from special relativity dictates, as something increases velocity, the mass in motion increases compared with its mass at rest, as determined by multiplying its mass at rest by the Lorentz factor. The increase in relativistic mass makes all the energy used to speed up the object less effective at increasing velocity.. As the object starts to reach real fractions of the speed of light , the amount of energy going into making the object more massive increases exponentially. This is why nothing can travel faster than light or near lightspeed. More  energy applied to the obj... [More]
Comment icon #89 Posted by Hammerclaw on 21 January, 2017, 13:06
A very long wait on the order of tens of thousands of years.
Comment icon #90 Posted by lost_shaman on 21 January, 2017, 23:38
Remember that this is Observational. An Observer would say it seems that Mass is increasing, if you were onboard a Ship that was traveling at Relativistic velocity you would not notice any Mass increase. An Observer would say that Starship's Mass must be increasing because its engines are running but it's speed as we measure it is only just slightly increasing as it nears (c) light speed.   As velocity increases more energy goes toward Time Dilation and Length Contraction.    This I believe is were so many people get confused. This is what an Observer would see and how an Observer would explai... [More]
Comment icon #91 Posted by Hammerclaw on 22 January, 2017, 0:27
Time dilation has nothing to do with the actual physics involved governing movement. What you merely observe from inside the ship is non sequitur.  
Comment icon #92 Posted by lost_shaman on 22 January, 2017, 0:57
What are you even talking about? Time Dilation is central to Special Relativity. This stuff is the "actual physics involved".
Comment icon #93 Posted by Maureen_jacobs on 22 January, 2017, 1:31
You are now telling me that you have had the phone number all along and now you decide to contact them?
Comment icon #94 Posted by Hammerclaw on 22 January, 2017, 13:04
Yes, but all you're talking about is perceptual reality from inside the ship, not the actual physics involved acting on the ship in normal space-time. Although time slows for the passengers it doesn't for the ship itself. It is still governed by the laws of physics and transits space in normal time. It is still governed by the limitation of achieving only a fraction of light-speed and a journey that would take hundreds of thousands of years or more to span the galaxy.
Comment icon #95 Posted by lost_shaman on 22 January, 2017, 21:48
No this stuff is the actual physics.   Yes it certainly does. And other strange things happen such as distances shrink (length contraction). But you can see for yourself that these effects are real and affect spacecraft because our GPS satellites, for example, have to account for both Time Dilation and being further away from Earth's Mass than ground clocks to maintain accuracy. http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html That is what an Observer would Observe. It is not what Space Travelers at Relativistic velocities would experience.


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