Scientists to send messages to space in search for alien life—but it could end life on Earth

By the end of 2018, scientists will send out messages to nearby star systems with planets orbiting their star in the habitable zone. However, many astronomers disagree with this idea, saying that such messages could pose a threat to human life, by attracting hostile alien civilizations that could end life on Earth. 

Apparently, the human race is extremely eager to meet our cosmic neighbors if of course, there are any out there.

In hopes of discovering alien life—specifically intelligent alien life—astronomers want to send out messages to potentially habitable planets in the universe.

Instead of waiting for ET to knock on our door , scientists have decided to send out a batch of messages to outer space, hoping that some of them will be intercepted by intelligent alien civilizations.

And while this may seem as a fantastic idea to finally meet ET, experts warn that this might be a bad move, as these messages could attract hostile aliens which could come to Earth and end life as we know it.

Professor Stephen Hawking agrees that sending out messages to Aliens is not a good idea.

METI, (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) a San Francisco based organization wants to start sending cosmic post cards into outer space starting in 2018.

What if ET turns out to be a hostile alien?

Speaking in an interview with Forbes, president of METI Douglas Vakoch, said:

“If we want to start an exchange over the course of many generations, we want to learn and share information.”

Vakoch believes the human race needs to send out complex messages into our space in hopes of discovering intelligent alien civilizations.

“It’s too late to conceal ourselves in the universe, so we should decide how we want to represent ourselves. Extraterrestrials may be waiting for a clear indication from us that we’re ready to start talking,” said Vakoch.

METI aims to send out their first radio transmission to outer space by the end of 2018, emphasizing on ‘messages that reveal basic mathematical and scientific concepts.’

“It would be ideal to use a powerful transmitter like those used for planetary radar studies, such as Arecibo Observatory,” said Mr. Vakoch.

However, deciding what sort of messages the human race should send out to space has not been an easy task.

Speaking to CNET, Mr Vakoch said: “Some of the most prominent messages of the past have tried to cover everything.”

“We’re taking the opposite approach. Rather than trying to communicate everything, we are focusing on saying a few things very clearly. For our first messages, we are emphasizing the essentials of math and physics.”

In hopes of finding ET, METI will target nearby solar systems—specifically those which are believed to have planets orbiting their host star in the habitable zone.

Who knows, maybe one of those solar systems has advanced intelligent alien civilizations waiting to hear from their cosmic neighbors.

Mr. Vakoch further added that the messages would be simple so aliens could decode them without hassle.

“There are a lot of hidden assumptions embedded in the ways we portray three-dimensional objects on two-dimensional surfaces,’ said Mr. Vakoch. Even if aliens use pictures, they may use a different set of conventions to map solid objects onto flat surfaces.”

However, not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

Lucianne Walkowicz, an astrophysicist at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, told NBC in an interview that trying to contact alien civilizations could result in a catastrophic scenario for the human race.

“There’s a possibility that if we actively message, with the intention of getting the attention of an intelligent civilization that the civilization we contact would not necessarily have our best interests in mind,” she said

“On the other hand, there might be great benefits. It could be something that ends life on Earth, and it might be something that accelerates the ability to live quality lives on Earth. We have no way of knowing.”


(H/T CNET)

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