«Peace, Lenin, the USSR» — these were the words sent out into space at the end of 1968. The Deep Space Communications Centre launched this message at Venus. But the beam was so wide that just a small part of it reflected from the planet’s surface back to Earth. The radio waves went roaming the universe, thus becoming humanity’s first interstellar message. Of course, two-thirds of this message even nowadays would have to be explained to schoolchildren – not everybody knows what’s the USSR. So, even if the message gets to some aliens, they’re unlikely to «get it».
Today I’ll tell you how to communicate with creatures that we have no knowledge about whatsoever.
00:56 — Message at Venus
Soviet astrophysicists acknowledged the meaninglessness of transmitting a text signal. The message with Morse code was aimed to check if radio traffic between Earth and Venus was possible. Scientists and engineers were preparing to launch an autonomous station that would land on the planet closest to Earth. The experiment was a success – the reflected signal came after almost five minutes since the transmission had been started. A big part of the signal went in the direction of Libra constellation.
Forty years later astronomers discovered a planetary system near one of the stars in the constellation. There are 6 planets around Gliese 581. And one of them is habitable. It is situated about 20 light-years away from Earth, so the local scientists have had enough time to detect the message from Earth and respond. Either the inhabitants of Gliese 581 didn’t notice the signal in the mix of radio waves in the universe or aren’t eager to establish diplomatic relations with us.
02:05 — «WoW!» signal
However, there was a response from another place in space – from the Archer constellation. In August 1975 Big Ear telescope in Ohio detected a strange signal. During the 72 seconds, while the antenna was aimed at that point in space, it was receiving a kind of radiation unlike any natural radiation background in terms of its properties. The signal altered its intensity six times.
Nothing like that had ever been noticed in the whole history of astronomical observations. There are still no versions whatsoever on how such signal form could emerge naturally. This signal went down in history as WoW! That was what Dr. Jeremy Eiman had written on the telescope record printout.
03:03 — 21 centimeters
There is yet another episode involving a WoW signal. It was detected on the frequency with a wavelength of 21 centimeters. This is the frequency most scientists suggest using for finding intelligent life. Radiation on this frequency has a similar wavelength with neutral hydrogen. And neutral hydrogen is the basic element of modern radiophysics.
It makes up more than half of the known galaxy’s mass. Studying that radiation uncovers more knowledge about mass distribution in galaxies, their structures, and data on spiral arms. Other spectral lines are either too weak or present in too little space. Hydrogen is the element number one on the periodic table. It is likely that brothers of man have a different perspective on the periodic table, for example, it could be presented in spirals or combs, but it would probably still start or end with hydrogen – the most simple and common element in the universe.
07:05 — Message from Arecibo
In November 1974 Arecibo observatory telescope sent a message at Hercules constellation. It took the scientists 169 seconds to send 1679 digit long message out to the stars.
The message encoded information about the person. The basic chemical elements of which the DNA molecule consists are transferred, it is told about the solar system, a person is given, and even a picture of the telescope itself.
07:10 — Space postal services
Some scientists seemed quite fond of old school postal services that took forever to deliver their parcels. So they sent a few to some fellow brothers of man.
First, in 1972 and then in 1973 some aluminum disks were sent into space, attached to Pioneer 10 and 11 satellites. The former should deliver the parcel to Aldebaran and the latter – to the Aquila Nebula. The former parcel is due in 2 mil years and the latter – in 4.
13:09 — From CyberCoach with love
Overall, I didn’t dig into that stuff just for fun. I want to send my very own message to some alien folks. And I’ll tell you more about it in other episodes of Cyber Coach Projects.
#thetruthisoutthere #techtales #aliens #amperka