NASA to beam out Earth's location into space. Experts warn that it just might invite an alien invasion!

Written By: Moohita Kaur Garg
New Delhi, India Updated: Apr 19, 2022, 11:35 AM(IST)

And then there are other concerns…What if we somehow invite the wrath of civilisations far superior to ours? Photograph:( Others )

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Genius professor Stephen Hawking during the filming of a documentary warned that we need to refrain from trying to contact aliens or we just might end up with the kind of attention we regret. What do you think?

Since time immemorial, humans have sought to establish contact with extra-terrestrial life forms. Hollywood movies like Extra-Terrestrial (ET), Arrival etc. and Bollywood movies like Koi Mil Gaya, are proof of this curiosity and all paint different scenarios of what might happen if the contact is in fact established.

Now, a NASA led team of international scientists are once again planning to satiate this curiosity. They have developed a binary-coded message that they propose beaming out across the galaxy, in the hopes of finally establishing contact with aliens.

Also read | Mysterious radio waves from space object. Are aliens calling?

"Beacon in the Galaxy," an interstellar message, contains a wide variety of information: basic concepts in math and physics on communication, digital images of the human form, elements of DNA, a time-stamped depiction of the solar system, and Earth’s system. It ends with an invitation for the aliens to beam back a reply.

In an interesting twist, the scientists say the position of the planet is incorporated in hopes of not only receiving a message from aliens but also receiving a physical vehicle to Earth at "some point in the future".

Dr Jonathan Jiang of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is heading the experiment. The group of researchers plans to broadcast the message right into the heart of the Milky Way, using the Seti Institute’s Allen Telescope Array in California and the Chinese 500-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope.

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“Humanity has, we contend, a compelling story to share and the desire to know of others – and now has the means to do so,” say the scientists in their report which is yet to be peer-reviewed.

According to the paper, a future message could include additional frequencies of greater complexity, incorporating major pieces of music such as Beethoven's, Mozart's, or Bach's symphonies.

Experts believe it is very unlikely that an intelligent civilisation will intercept the message, and even if it happens, establishing an intelligent, fruitful conversation can prove challenging since it will take tens of thousands of years for the message to reach its intended target.

Another possibility is that the aliens might not understand the message and consider it gibberish.

And then there are other concerns…What if we somehow invite the wrath of civilisations far superior to ours?

Genius professor Stephen Hawking while speaking to Discovery Channel during the filming of a documentary, warned that we need to refrain from trying to contact aliens or we just might end up with the kind of attention we regret.

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.” 

According to him, meeting aliens is similar to Christopher Columbus meeting Native Americans: “That didn’t turn out so well.”

Also read | NASA is hiring priests to prepare humans for contact with aliens

Previously, astronomer Joe Gertz of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has expressed concerns that attempts to communicate with aliens could lead to “the reckless endangerment of all mankind.”

According to Buchanan, beings from other worlds are likely to be more advanced than humans, making them an even larger threat.

Dr Jiang and his colleagues remain optimistic, however. They suggest that an alien society capable of communication throughout the cosmos may have learned the value of peace and collaboration and that mankind may benefit greatly from their knowledge.

They write, “logic suggests a species which has reached sufficient complexity to achieve communication through the cosmos would also very likely have attained high levels of cooperation amongst themselves and thus will know the importance of peace and collaboration,” adding that if communication were to be established, the outcome would vastly outweigh the concerns.

How do you feel about this? Do you think communication between humans, and aliens will benefit us or are you a pessimist who thinks it will only lead to our destruction? Share your thoughts!  

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