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What radio messages have we sent to aliens ?

By T.K. Randall
March 21, 2021 · Comment icon 9 comments

Is there anyone out there ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Hajor
Scientists have made several attempts to communicate with intelligent extraterrestrials over the decades.
On the face of it, sending a radio message into space in the hope of establishing contact with an advanced extraterrestrial civilization would seem to be a literal shot in the dark.

Given the distances involved, a message sent to a distant star system could take thousands of years (or more) to get there and there is no guarantee that intelligent aliens would even be listening out for conventional radio signals which are obviously way too slow for interstellar communication.

This hasn't stopped humanity from attempting to make contact all the same, however.

One of the, if not the earliest attempts to communicate with aliens happened in 1962 when Soviet scientists beamed a basic greeting ("Mir, Lenin, SSR") towards the planet Venus.

It wasn't until 1974 however that the first proper message was sent towards the stars.

Frank Drake, Carl Sagan and a group of other scientists and astronomers used the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to send a message towards a star cluster 25,000 light years away.
The message itself contained an image - sent in binary - of a human figure, a DNA double helix, a model of a carbon atom and a depiction of a telescope.

The chances of anyone ever picking up the message are remote to say the least - especially given that it will take 25,000 years to reach its target which, by that time, will have moved.

"The Arecibo message tried to give a snapshot of who we are as human beings in the language of math and science," said psychologist Douglas Vakoch.

Since then there have been numerous attempts to send message into space, however to date we have yet to receive a response (or at least one that we've been able to detect and decipher.)

All things considered, radio messages - given that they are limited to the speed of light - are probably not going to be the answer to communicating with other beings across the stars.

Source: Live Science | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hankenhunter 3 years ago
Dunno why, but your post gave me an image of an aliens landing, and as they declare that they've come in peace, there's a meter maid with a boot wondering where to put it. Must be a whimsical mood.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hankenhunter 3 years ago
Also, we can say whatever we want as long as we don't p*** them off. Aw, who am I kidding, of course we'd p*** them off. Disgusted, and leave they will.
Comment icon #3 Posted by and then 3 years ago
Comment icon #4 Posted by acute 3 years ago
I would communicate with aliens by creating a crop formation saying "Nothing to see here."
Comment icon #5 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
We sent the Beatles song "Across the Universe" to aliens 2008. Maybe now a aliens are waiting for us to send them the whole 'The Greatest Hits' by the Beatles? 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Davros of Skaro 3 years ago
Comment icon #7 Posted by bison 3 years ago
Frank Drake, Carl Sagan and others devised a binary message which was sent to the M-13 star cluster in the constellation Hercules, in 1974. They used the since-collapsed Arecibo dish antenna and its transmitter to send it. The message was encoded in a two-tone audio format, to represent the 'ones' and 'zeros' of the binary bits. A recording of the message is linked below: 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Horta 3 years ago
LOL. The electromagnetic transmissions we have spewing out for many decades surely means that any self respecting, intelligent alien species is giving us a wide berth. Might as well have a huge neon sign above earth saying "we're crazy" lol.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Davros of Skaro 3 years ago

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