The Arecibo Message
The Arecibo message was an organised scientific attempt to contact extra-terrestrial life back in 1974. Scientists sent a coded message from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The destination for the message was the constellation of Hercules, more scientifically known as NGC 6205. It remains the most major attempt at extra-terrestrial messaging to date.
Klingon Opera Invitation
Many scientists who are involved in business in small ways have assisted in extra-terrestrial advertising ploys. In 2010, an invitation in Klingon was sent in a message into space to see whether any aliens wanted to attend a Klingon opera in Holland. No aliens attended the event, but it was a valiant attempt.
Response to the “Wow!”, 2012
The “Wow!” signal is known as such because of astronomer Jerry Ehman’s strong reaction to it upon determining its success. Because of this, the Arecibo Radio Telescope put out a signal into the galaxy in 2012, centring around this “Wow!” signal. The message was sent to three different sun stars, one of which is known to have a solar system.
The Teen Age Message
Yevpatoria Planetary Radar were the ones who sent out the Teen Age Message in 2001. It was an attempt at a kind of “space art” which included a live concert recording. This message is one that will take the least time to arrive at its destination, being assumed to reach its intended spot in the universe between 2047 and 2070. To put it in perspective, the Arecibo Message is meant to take 25,000 years to reach its target!
In Norway in 2017, scientists sent a message to a neighbouring galaxy. The message was apparently less complex and more easily deciphered than the Arecibo Message of 1974, with the hopes that if anyone out there was listening, they’d understand it. It was beamed for eight hours and for three days in October that year, and used several kinds of mathematics to communicate.
Beacon in the Galaxy
In 2022, another major message was devised with plans of sending it to aliens. It held a plethora of information about Earth including images of male and female forms, and how to find the planet. Some people including Stephen Hawking warned against letting aliens know how exactly to find us, saying it could lead to the destruction of our world, but to some that just makes it more exciting.
The Drake Equation
Frank Drake (not the rapper) and a number of other scientists in the 1960s derived an equation that claimed to describe where in the galaxy we on Earth would feasibly be able to contact potential lifeforms. Being excited at the prospect of contacting alien life, it did not take long for them to attempt to put the Drake Equation into action through messaging.
Declaring Earth’s Existence, 1962
In 1962, Soviet scientists put a message out into the universe to declare the existence of planet Earth. They targeted the message at the planet Venus, thinking that if there is other life out there, it could be on one of the nearer-by planets. Though they sent some coded message, they also sent three words: Mir, meaning ‘peace’ in Russian, Lenin, and SSSR (the acronym for the Soviet union).
In 1977 the Voyager spacecrafts launched. Each of them contained extensive messages known as the Voyager Records. It showed different parts of Earth, many languages, music, and scientific diagrams. The noted science communicator Carl Sagan was largely responsible for the construction of the Voyager Records and hoped that extra-terrestrials might find the spacecrafts and thus, the records within.
METI Luyten’s star message, 2017
METI stands for Messaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, and they are an organisation dedicated to exactly that. They sent a radio message out to Luyten’s star in 2017 which is just 12.2 lightyears from Earth. The star is known to have at least one planet which is believed to be similar to Earth in its habitats.