METI joins SETI in the hunt for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
For 60 years, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been scanning our universal horizons for signs of intelligent life, listening and waiting for a signal to come bouncing back to Earth. But now, beginning in just four days time, a new strategy is being added into the mix – Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI).
The METI concept involves a more active approach in that instead of waiting for a signal to reach us, a message will be sent out from Earth into outer space, in the hope that it will be picked up by any intelligent alien race that is out there.
The first long-duration METI project will be launched on 17 th June by Lone Signal, a crowd-funded project set up by a group of businessmen and entrepreneurs utilizing the Jamesburg Earth Station radio telescope in Carmel Valley, California, which was constructed in 1968 to support the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.
“As soon as I can remember, I looked up at the stars and I thought, ‘Is there anybody looking back at me?’ I think there’s just an inherent curiosity we all have,” Lone Signal chief marketing officer Ernesto Qualizza said. “We all want to see what’s on the other side of the next hill, and this is an extension of that curiosity.”
The Lone Signal project is unique in that it is not only sending out one message, as previous projects have done. It will be sending out a continuous stream of content received from contributors from all over the world. Anyone with an internet connection will be able to send their own message or photo through the Lone Signal programme, offering a way to unite people around the world in the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.
The Lone Signal project will draw upon latest knowledge about planets that meet conditions for habitability when deciding where to direct its signal. It will begin with Gliese 526, a red dwarf star only 18 light-years from Earth, which is thought to be surrounded by a system of planets with potential habitable qualities.
The signal itself will be composed of 1′s and 0′s (binary) and will contain basic information about our civilization, our solar system and some basic science. An adjacent frequency will also be sent out with the crowd-sourced information from individuals around the planet who will contribute material via social media to send out.
To begin beaming your messages into deep space, logon to the Lone Signal website.