Nasa / Space optimize

Texting E.T. an invite for 2029

The site Hello From Earth is allowing registered users to send English-language messages of up to 160 characters to the planet Gliese 581d. The service is free and will be available until August 24, 2009.

(Gliese 581d photo courtesty of ESO.)

Hello From Earth is a Web site that has been set up to mark National Science Week in Australia. The site is allowing registered users to send English-language messages of up to 160 characters to Gliese 581d, a planet believed to be about eight times heavier than our own and located more than 20 light years away in the constellation Libra. The service is free and will be available until August 24, 2009.

Note that it will take 20 years for the messages sent via satellites into deep space from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex to arrive.

Will you send your potential neighbors an invite to visit in 2029?

26 comments
wkjr
wkjr

I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned, but if it takes 20 years for the message to get there, they won't HAER it until 2029. Are they supposed to get here instantaneously? Of course, they must have hyperdrive or whatever it is THEY call it....

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

is that "Gilligan's Island" reruns have a forty year head start.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

20 years to that planet. 20 years of Rush Limbaugh. In 40-80 years, I expect a projectile moving at 25-->50% of the speed of light to come crashing into Earth, with a big DITTO THIS painted on it. ;)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Aren't we all supposed to be dead in 2012? ?:| "Say, say, two thousand one two; party over; oops, out of beer. So tonight I'm gonna party like twen-ty-twelve is here!" Apologies to the Purple One.

jck
jck

I am upset with that site. My message to invite the aliens to pints of Guinness was not posted! How are we supposed to make peace without Guinness?!?!! Oh well...if they come with ray guns, I'll just drink my Guinness and get zapped a happy man. :^0

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

it will probably be because we didn't offer them any beer. "Look at the invites from these cheap-@ss Earthlings! They've got all that Guinness and they won't even offer us any! To the battleships!" Leave a couple of kegs on the roof and you'll probably be just fine.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I pay money to watch cars go round in circles. Even worse, I run a fantasy league.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Don't you have any vices? Drink milk out of the container? Watch The Simpsons?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It takes me a couple of weeks to finish a bottle of wine. No distilled spirits either; I'd rather have beer. At least when I pour the beer out unfinished I don't feel as guilty about what it cost. Aren't I screwed up enough for you without the added benefit of alcohol?

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

You strike me as more of a fine wine kind of person.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Guinness may be the greatest fermented beverage on the planet. I'm not knocking it, but I've never tasted a beer yet that made me want a second one. I'll drink one occasionally if it makes my host happy, maybe six a year or so. I don't think I've ever purchased any for drinking myself, just singles as needed for cooking.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Don't you know that beer is good for hemorrhoids? If they weren't they wouldn't be allowed to say, "Weak ends are made for Michelob," in the ads.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...the more you mention Guinness." By 'you', do you mean me specifically, or is that the 'universal you', as in the more people in general talk about Guinness? I don't think I've mentioned it more than a couple of times in my life. I've never tasted it and don't generally like beer.

jck
jck

ME? (guinness) Think of having Guinness more the closer the weekend comes? (guinness) Surely you jest. (guinnessguinnessguinness) :^0

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

The closer the weekend gets the more you mention Guinness.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

We really should tell them what to bring, otherwise everybody will bring potato chips. Except for the Klingons, they'll bring gagh.

jck
jck

What about some ro'kek blood pie? lol

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Seems an appropriate enough message.

coolmark82
coolmark82

I think that this is a complete waste of time because if there is alien life forms on that planet we wont know what will happen. first of all the chances of them understanding english is very slim and the odds are not in your favor. And second of all, they might not even be capable of text or maybe so far beyond text transmissions that they use telepathic stuff. All i am saying is that if there is life on that planet we should be learning their language and not send stuff in kapiskitarianese. Other than that, sending transmissions to that planet is a nice thing...

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...they'd know English by now. The only question is how they will feel when we start spamming them with interstellar Twitter tweets.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

The short story, "Adrift Among The Ghosts" by Jack L. Chalker, covers aliens watching "I Love Lucy".

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The message content isn't as important as it's transmission. Whether they're telepathic or not, an civilization advanced enough to get here probably monitors the electromagnetic spectrum. Doing so is a requirement for any form of astronomical study. If they detect the transmission, they'll know there's a planet with life evolved far enough to transmit messages into space. Like ourselves, they may also be wondering if theirs is the only planet that hosts intelligent life. It doesn't matter if they can read the message; just receiving it will tell them a lot. Put the shoe on the other foot; how would we react?

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

That's a mighty fine question. That is actually a research paper I'd like to see someone tackle; anticipated societal reaction to extraterrestrial intelligence. Maybe the guys that did the zombie study can take this one on next? :)

bclomptwihm
bclomptwihm

Let's ring ET's Dinner Bell. Anybody ever see the Twilight Zone episode called "To Serve Man"?