[REVIEW] : NASA scientists have a new message for aliens

The world has changed a lot since NASA placed gold records on Voyager. These messengers contain sounds and images selected as a sample of the diversity of life and cultures on Earth and are addressed to all extraterrestrial life forms. In addition to this message, which is at the edge of the Universe, there are other interstellar radio messages sent by large telescopes, such as Arecibo. Now we have many more trying to find extraterrestrial life.

A team of international researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has presented a new design for a message to intelligent extraterrestrial life.

How to communicate with extraterrestrials?

A team of international researchers, led by Jonathan Jiang of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, attempted to answer that same question, according to a report by Scientific American.

Although we have yet to find extraterrestrial life, the search is intensifying thanks to projects such as China’s Fast Telescope and NASA’s James Webb.

Beacon in the Galaxy: The New Message

The study, titled “Beacon in the Galaxy,” is a basic introduction to math, chemistry and biology as humans understand them. There are 13 pages, with a message heavily inspired by the work developed in Arecibo’s 1974 message.

In the information provided, Jiang’s team included details such as the best time of year to deliver his message and potential targets. This explanation includes a dense ring of stars near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

An important detail that this message also adds is a return address which should allow any recipient to accurately locate Earth and return their own message. Let’s just hope the message doesn’t get picked up by an intelligent species capable of destroying solar systems.

The motivation for the design was to provide the maximum information about our society and the human species in the minimum message. With advances in digital technology, we can do much better than in 1974.

Jiang said.

How will extraterrestrials understand what we communicate?

Anyone who has seen the brilliant sci-fi movie “The First Encounter” will know that one of the first stops for officers after any communication with an alien species would be to find a world-class linguist to try and decipher their language. and enable communication.

In a reversal of the idea presented in this film, NASA researchers set out to make their message as easy to decipher as possible for a hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligence that has no notion of our language or number systems, which have arbitrarily evolved due to cultural influences. throughout human history.

So they decided to present their message as a bitmap, a medium that uses binary code to create a pixelated image. The 1974 Arecibo message also used a bitmap image to present its message as simply as possible.

Researchers offer a new message to extraterrestrials

A team of scientists has formulated an update to the binary-coded Arecibo message, proposed in 1974, that could eventually be delivered to extraterrestrials in our galaxy. This new “outstretched hand” contains many details, including the chemical makeup of humans, a map of Earth, and even our precise location in the Milky Way.

Are we alone in the galaxy? Many wonder. Moreover, some have even gone a long way in trying to signal our presence to possible extraterrestrials. The drawing of Pioneer in 1972, that of Arecibo two years later or the gold record of Voyager in 1979 are examples.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Arecibo message, a team led by Jonathan Jiang of NASA’s JPL comes up with one. improved version. Like other past attempts to contact extraterrestrials, the thirteen-page epistle released in early March, called “Beacon in the Galaxy,” is meant to be a basic introduction to math, chemistry and biology.

Researchers also propose to transmit it at a certain time in a specific direction. Finally, it is important to note that the transmission also includes a return address in case potential recipients would like to start an interstellar conversation.

“The motivation for the design was to provide the maximum amount of information about our society and the human species in the minimum message”, sums up Jonathan Jiang. “With improvements in digital technology, we can do much better than the in 1974.”

Basic principles

The message begins by conveying basic mathematical and physical concepts to establish a universal means of communication. They include a prime numbers stream and a quick lesson on the decimal system.

From there, the team transmitted common elements of the periodic table, the structure of DNA and even a timestamp for the message itself, a feat made possible by using hydrogen’s spin-flip transition. neutral.