Beaming messages to space could result in an alien invasion an expert warned on Monday according to a report in the British Daily Telegraph.
NASA launched a radio message containing information about the basic chemicals of life, the structure of DNA, Earth’s place in our solar system, and a stick figure of a human in 1974 using the powerful Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico.
The message is still traveling in the vastness of space. Nearly fifty years after that simple and elegant message, scientists want to send another broadcast to extraterrestrial intelligence in the Milky Way galaxy, if any exists at all.
The new space-bound note—dubbed the Beacon in the Galaxy—is the latest attempt to make contact with other lifeforms.
It will include our solar system’s position within the Milky Way relative to known clusters of stars so anyone who hears it can hunt Earth out.
Details about the Earth’s surface, drawings of humans, and basic technical concepts for them to reach out to us will also be packed into it.
The latest endeavor is being led by Dr. Jonathan Jiang from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The team proposes broadcasting these messages using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope in China and the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array in northern California to a selected region of the Milky Way which has been proposed as the most likely for life to have developed.
Messages into space “may bring alien invasion”
However, a top researcher from Oxford University believes the move could be risky.
Dr. Anders Sandberg told the Telegraph “it has such a high impact that you actually need to take it rather seriously.”
Nonetheless, he thinks the chances of the message actually reaching extraterrestrials is quite low. If the message does make it, the broadcast will probably be more like “a postcard saying, ‘Wish you were here’,” he added.
There are quite a few communications out in space meant for aliens, which could also be a problem in itself.
“The poor aliens might already be getting various messages sent for all sorts of reasons,” Dr. Sandberg said.