The famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, made famous by the original message of November 16, 2016
More than 40 years have passed since the first real attempt of mankind to turn to intelligent aliens. Now the new generation has a chance to send its own interstellar message. The Arecibo Observatory (Puerto Rico) asks students around the world to develop an updated version of the famous “Arecibo Message” sent to the M13 star cluster on November 16, 1974.
The competition is open to all university students, whose team will be headed by a mentor professor. The winning team will arrive at the Arecibo Observatory in November next year and will help to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first message. Representatives of the observatory reported that their main goal is focused on the educational part, which allows to attract more young minds to the study of space.
The competition will be held in several stages. The first was held on November 16 with the launch of the website. The next event is expected on December 16th. The original message of Arecibo was created by researchers from the SETI group, including the well-known popularizer of science, Karl Sagan. However, the original message is still far from the destination, because M13 is 25000 light years away from Earth. Today, such activity is discussed in SETI. Some researchers believe that it is extremely irresponsible to send messages to space, since we do not know how intelligent alien beings will behave (if they exist). No one wants to implement the Martian attack on the plot of the “War of the Worlds” by HG Wells.
The late physicist Stephen Hawking spoke most about the dangers. He warned that we risk drawing attention to the Earth of not very good-natured creatures whose standards and morals are unknown to us. But other scientists are arguing. If they wanted to destroy us, they did it long ago. The earth is not a quiet place, but our radio waves, instruments and spacecraft were supposed to make noise in space.
For many, the competition - a kind of test. What would young people like to say to newcomers today? Are we ready for the meeting and do we have sufficient responsibility? It is unclear exactly where they are preparing to send the next message to Arecibo, but researchers are trying to interest as many people as possible.