Active SETI Aim To Send Coded Radio Messages Into Space By 2018
Two separate groups of scientists are now underway is designing a method in which to send coded radio messages into space in hopes of deliberately attracting the attention of intelligent life.
The first group, led by Douglas Vakoch, President of the San Francisco-based non-profit Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence International, plan to draw upon international experts to make a message that will be both information-rich and provocative enough to illicit a response.
“It’s too late to conceal ourselves in the universe, so we should decide how we want to represent ourselves,” said Vakoch.
“We hope to radio transmit by the end of 2018, with an emphasis on messages conveying basic mathematical and scientific concepts,” he adds “It would be ideal to use a powerful transmitter like those used for planetary radar studies, such as Arecibo Observatory.”
The other group is the U.K.-based active SETI initiative headed by Joao Pedro Magalhaes, a biologist at the University of Liverpool agrees with the assumption that extraterrestrial intelligence are already aware of our existence, and that any new attempts at active contact with them using transmissions that are not above our normal broadcast radio and TV leakage will not put us in any more danger than we are already.
Vakoch also suggests that our message should include the whole Periodic Table of the Elements, that would allow the aliens to see the similarities and differences between the elements based on how they are grouped.
There are a lot of hidden assumptions embedded in the ways we portray three-dimensional objects on two-dimensional surfaces,” Vakoch explained. “Even if aliens use pictures, they may use a different set of conventions to map solid objects onto flat surfaces.”