What to Know
- Decades after humankind’s first attempt to reach out to aliens there is a renewed mission of crafting an intergalactic radio message
- The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is asking students around the world to produce an updated version of the famous Arecibo Message
- The original Arecibo Message was beamed toward a distant star cluster; It included encoded information about humanity and Earth's location
Decades after humankind’s first attempt to reach out to aliens, there is a renewed mission of crafting an intergalactic radio message.
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, famous for its massive radio telescope as well as producing what has become known as the original Arecibo Message, is asking students around the world to come up with an updated version of the famous message, according to Space.com.
The original Arecibo Message was beamed toward a distant star cluster, M13, on Nov. 16, 1974 and is still on its way to reaching its target destination, which lies about 25,000 light-years from Earth.
The competition is open to kindergarten through university undergraduate students, with each team being led by a mentor. The winning group will come to the Arecibo Observatory November 2019 to celebrate the original message's 45th anniversary, according to Space.com.
"We are sure that the young minds around the planet will create a smart, creative and safe way to say hello to our possible galactic neighbors! Can't wait to receive the proposals!" Arecibo staff scientist Alessandra Abe Pacini told Space.com.
The original message was sent by a team of astronomers led by Frank Drake, with the help of researcher Carl Sagan. The message included encoded information about humanity and Earth's location within the solar system in a 1,679-bit image.
According to the challenge’s organizers, the New Arecibo Message has as its main goal educating participants on Radio Astronomy techniques and Exoplanetary cutting-edge science, presenting the uniqueness of the Arecibo Observatory “and raising the awareness of the possible risks involved on messaging unknown earthlings (through social medias) or extraterrestrial civilizations (through radio waves).”
To learn more about the challenge, click here.