We, humans, are a curious species, always looking for something…more.
More than what we know, more than what we can see, more than what we have. Our search for more is endless and is not limited to our own environment, country, continent, or even our planet.
Did you know that humans have tried more than once to contact the famous extraterrestrials in their search for more?
This is not a joke. First, let us talk about the most recent attempt. NASA has developed a binary-coded message that they hope to send out to aliens throughout the galaxy.
The interplanetary message, called “Beacon in the Galaxy,” contains various information, including basic arithmetic and physics principles for communication, digital photos of the human form, DNA elements, and a time-stamped representation of the solar system, Earth’s system. It concludes with an invitation to the aliens to beam back a response.
The search for the green men began more than a century ago. It began with an Austrian named Joseph Johann Von Littrow. If you wonder how a 19th-century astronomer could contact aliens who certainly did not have the technology back then… you are right.
They did not have the technology. What Von Littrow was proposing was something quite different. He wanted to burn the Sahara desert. He planned to dig huge trenches with geometric patterns in the Sahara, fill them with kerosene oil and let it burn.
The idea was that this huge fire would serve as a beacon, announcing, “We are here.
In the 1960s, another attempt was made to contact extraterrestrials. In 1962, Soviet scientists pointed a radio transmitter at Venus and sent a message. The International Journal of Astrobiology reports that this was a largely symbolic message and the test run for a new planetary radar, or technology that transmits radio waves into space.
Just 12 years later, in 1974, another team of scientists sent a message from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in the direction of a star cluster called Messier 13, located about 25,000 light-years from us.
This time, the message was written in binary code, or the language of math and science, and included an illustration of a human stick figure, the structure of DNA, a model of a carbon atom, and a diagram of a telescope.
In 1977, two space probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched with sound recordings: Music, ambient sounds from our planet, and 116 images of Earth and the solar system.
You have probably heard of advertising in the air, but have you heard of advertising in space?
In 2008, Doritos sent its advertising to another solar system outside our own. The target was the constellation Ursa Majoris, 42 light-years away.
How would science fiction fans be left when contacting aliens? In 2010, a message was sent out in the Klingon language from Star Trek inviting ET to visit a Klingon opera in Holland.
This message is still floating in space, waiting to be discovered.
While some experts say the chances of reaching an alien civilization are slim, if not impossible, others, including the late genius Stephen Hawking, think it is a fool’s errand, inviting an alien invasion.
Time will tell what happens if we do indeed reach aliens. Let us just hope it does better than harm.