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What will the new message from Arecibo look like?

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The tag, known as the Arecibo Message, was designed by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake, and to this day is our most famous attempt to send a message to a putative alien intelligence. In addition, the Pioneering Plaques It is placed on the Voyager spacecraft golden sheetsA radio signal sent twice on a private initiative was also used to send messages to remote intelligence services.

Image-format copy of Arecibno’s 1974 letter.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Recently, a prominent international group led by NASA JPL researcher Jonathat H. Jiang designed a new “Arecibo Message” galaxy beacon (BITG). The Study of the details of their concept on the arXiv preprint server We can read.

What does this new message look like? It consists of 13 parts containing a total of 25500 bytes of data and then Chinese Five hundred meters radio telescope (FAST) The signal will be broadcast by the Allen Telescope at SETI in California. While the original Arecibo message was sent to globular cluster M13, the target will now be a region with a radius of 13,000 light-years toward the center of our galaxy. The message designers concluded in their previous study that there might be an opportunity in this field for an alien civilization that could make our mark.

The new message has some parts of everything similar so far and is based on the same mathematical method as the original Arecibo message. Both at the beginning of the content and after it, at the end, a series of primes will be transmitted to make the message recognizable, that is, it is not random electromagnetic radiation.

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The image of the man is similar to the image of a board mounted on the Pioneer spacecraft.

Source: Jiang et al.

The content includes encoded information such as numbers, chemical elements, particle physics data, DNA structure, Earth map and composition, ocean and atmosphere properties, human representation, hydrogen atom spectrum, solar system structure, etc. In addition, the message also conveys the frequency of communication with us. The difference from the original Arecibo message is that it also includes a flag indicating the layout of the fonts, making it more flexible to decode all of the content that could be included in the message if a potential intelligent civilization grabs it. The message also receives a time and place stamp (related to the age of the universe) that can be used to calculate where and when the message was sent.

Many people think it is not right to send a sobering message about ourselves, but researchers have responded simply by saying that we have been doing it for a long time, but not as planned, and in a way that does not portray humanity in the best light. Our radio and television programs surround our home like an expanding bubble, and it is from these signs that a representative of space civilization can easily learn about our wars or other weaknesses, for example.

Researchers believe that a message with content that can be known and even discussed by anyone is much better than a message that a power can send in secret without asking anyone on earth. Sending a carefully chosen message may also inspire humanity to lead a more peaceful and sustainable lifestyle.

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Since there is no other radio telescope at the Arecibo observatory after 2020 that will be able to transmit with enough power beyond reception to be able to transmit the new message, even the radio telescope that will be chosen will have to be equipped with a radiation module – not a small thing.

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