News 24 May 2023

Earth set to receive alien message from Mars today

24 May 2023
mars space alien

Mankind’s long-awaited encounter with extraterrestrial communication may be just around the corner as the SETI Institute gears up to send an “encoded” message from a spacecraft orbiting Mars to Earth today.

With the intention of preparing scientists and the public for the potential impact of contact with aliens, the non-profit organisation is keeping key details of the message under wraps, but will soon share it with the public for collaborative decoding.

At precisely 3 pm ET, the European Space Agency’s Mars orbiter will transmit the enigmatic signal, which will traverse 180 million miles of space in a mere 16 minutes before reaching Earth.

Daniela dePaulis, the visionary artist behind the A Sign in Space project, expressed the significance of such a communication, stating, “Receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilisation would be a profoundly transformational experience for all humankind.”

The project aims to provide a global platform for collaboration, inviting individuals from diverse cultures and disciplines to actively participate in the search for meaning in this historic event.

Collaborating in this endeavour, the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, and the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station in northern Italy will jointly receive and collect the signal transmitted from Mars. Once the SETI Institute captures the signal, processed data will be securely stored in collaboration with Open Data Archive and Filecoin, a decentralised storage network.

To engage the public, SETI plans to host a live stream on social media featuring key team members, aiming to generate interest and enthusiasm for this groundbreaking event.

Additionally, the A Sign in Space team will conduct a series of Zoom-based discussions open to the public, exploring the societal implications of detecting a signal from an extraterrestrial civilisation. These discussions are scheduled to take place over the course of six to eight weeks following the transmission of the message.

Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a research and education organisation committed to unraveling the mysteries surrounding the origin and nature of life in the universe.

While various attempts have been made to send signals into space, A Sign in Space marks the first project to transmit a message from space to Earth, sparking hope and anticipation in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

[Image via Shutterstock]