After decades of unsuccessfully trying to contact aliens in the universe, or identify their potential messages from space, a group of scientists says it’s time to test a basic rule: spamming our cosmic neighborhood with messages, in order to elicit an answer from potentially advanced alien civilizations.
An organization recently created and called METI (Messaging of Extraterrestrial Intelligence), plans to make the most ambitious effort so far to send powerful signals to neighboring stars near the Solar System, with the intention of contacting possible alien civilizations.
Despite critics saying such an idea isn’t what we need right now, such as famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who warns of the danger of revealing our position to a potentially hostile and dangerous alien civilizations, the newly created organization has set itself the goal to greet aliens. Its intention is to send powerful, repeated and intentional signals to the same star for months or years in order to elicit an answer from potentially intelligent alien civilizations inhabiting such stars.
This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, said Douglas Vakoch president of METI and former director of Interstellar Message Composition at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
“If we want to start an exchange over the course of many generations, we want to learn and share information,” he said.
Proxima B: Our best target?
The project aims to start sending ‘words’ in order to start a conversation in late 2018.
To do this, METI has chosen Proxima b, a potentially habitable rocky planet that is in the orbit of Proxima Centauri, one of the closest stars to our Sun and Located about 4.2 light-years away from Earth.
After a while, METI aims to send out more signals to distant stars, located hundreds and even thousands of light years away from Earth.
METI was founded in 2016 and plans to host several conferences in 2017.
Its main plans are to collect around to one million dollars to be able to maintain their staff and build a powerful transmitter somewhere on Earth.
Before that, METI will have to figure out the best way to say hello to an alien. Shouldn’t be a problem right? I mean, how hard could it be to say ‘Hi there’ to an Alien.
Maybe a good start is ‘We come in peace’.