Later this month, scientists will start sending the first continuous mass hailing beacon into outer space — a sort of "Hey, you! Yeah, you! Here we are!" message that researchers hope will attract the attention of any intelligent life that happens to exist in the Universe. They're aiming it at the Gliese 526 system, about 17.6 light years away. It's worth noting that this is different than Gliese 581, a system you probably remember hearing about from the search for Earth-like planets. The two systems aren't even closely related. The name comes from a 1957 survey of (relatively) nearby stars.

9 Responses to “Interstellar message in a bottle”

  1. Casual_Economy says:

    What kind of transmission do they use? I thought most of our transmissions decayed after only a couple light years.

    • Depends a lot on the quality of the receiver. I have read that the Arecibo radio telescope could exchange messages with a similar instrument elsewhere in the galaxy.

      But I wonder is this message talks louder than all the world’s TV transmitters.

  2. Stephen Hawking does not approve.

  3. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Great, an engraved invitation to interstellar invaders.  The Comet Empire will be here in no time.

    We’d better get started on Earth’s image upgrade while there’s still time.

  4. Mark Dow says:

    At first I read “..mass hailing bacon…”. THAT’s how you get the attention of aliens.

    • crenquis says:

      What is the smell of space?
      “The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation.”
      … they have noticed a distinct smell of seared meat and ozone…

      Sweet, metallic, seared meat scent?  I can only deduce that space already smells like Bacon Salt…

  5. Matt Grimm says:

    Iteration 17294536: I’m alone now. Uhm … On the island alone. Please, someone come. The others, they’re … they’re dead. I-it killed them. I-it killed them all.

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