A crowd-sourced Voyager 1? Anyone can send a text-like 160-character message to a planet light years away with Hello from Earth, which until August 23rd is collecting messages to be sent to the "super Earth" planet Gliese 581 2. As part of Australia’s National Science Week, Hello from Earth was created by Cosmos magazine with participation from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSRIO) and NASA. Discovered in April 2007, the planet, 20 light years away and eight times the size of Earth, is one of the best possible candidates for hosting life. It’s nearness to Earth makes it one of the most ideal planets for sending and receiving a message within our lifetime.
Before traversing space, the message will first traverse the Pacific.
“All the messages will be collected and exported as a text file and sent to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, where it will be encoded into binary code, packaged and tested before transmission,” writes Cosmos’s Heather Catchpole.
The messages will then be transmitted from the NASA/CSIRO Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. As the planet is 20 light years away, Cosmos expects that the message will arrive around December 2029. Once reaching Gliese 581 2, it will continue to travel.
“The signal will be strong enough for the message to be read by any intelligent life with the capacity to do so up to 100 light-years from Earth; its artificial nature should be detectable up to 10,000 light-years distant,” Catchpole writes.
Sure, part of this is all in fun, but how many of us thought growing up that one day a piece of us would rolling around outside our own solar system? It's kind of awesome.
Here are some of the best messages so far:
Nothing to see here, aliens. This planet is uninhabited, and certainly NOT filled with tasty humans.
By the time you get this I will be 71 and my children will have bled me dry. Appreciate if you could check that they have put me in a nice retirement home.
How come you never call anymore? and also, I tried adding you on facebook many times but had no response. If its about the drinking...I can change