Scientists prepare to send a message into space to contact the aliens, but doubt humanity’s ability to survive long enough to receive an answer.
A team of boffins working on the Beacon in the Galaxy (BITG) project will send information about our world and our cultures to extraterrestrials likely to listen.
They plan to send the message to a group of stars in the Milky Way, located between 6,500 and 19,500 light years away.
The team hopes that the aliens who receive the new message will send an answer back to Earth and finally answer the question of whether humans are alone in the universe.
Jonathan Jiang, study co-author and senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explained that the state of the world could see humans destroyed before an answer is ever received.
Talk to Fox13 he said, “The tendency of humans trying to destroy us is the greatest danger.
“There are a lot of problems with humanity right now, and Stephen Hawking worried about whether or not we can survive another thousand years.”
Jiang explained that NASA’s Pioneer missions in the 1970s on space exploration were also designed to come into contact with potential extraterrestrial civilizations.
The spacecraft used for these missions had a graphic message bolted to the central computer on a six-by-nine-inch gold anodized plate.
Other attempts to contact extraterrestrial life forms have been made using telescopes.
In 1974, a signal was sent into space from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico aimed at a cluster of stars 25,000 light-years away.
Later in 1999 and 2003 transmission messages from Evpatoria were sent into space and included an invitation for other lifeforms to respond.
The following message may contain coded examples of great artwork and images of nature and architecture on Earth.
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It can also have a map of our solar system, show where the Earth is, and share information about our number system.
An answer would take tens of thousands of years to reach Earth due to the huge distances between galaxies.
There could also be a conflict to get everyone to agree on the wording of the message sent.
But the BITG project team hopes that future generations will be inspired by their work and put their differences aside in the search for extraterrestrial life.
The masterminds behind the BITG project wrote in their study: “Humanity, we believe, has a compelling story to share and a desire to learn about others – and now has the means to do so.”