What is the most convincing evidence that alien civilizations exist?
When will aliens make contact?
When people think of interstellar communications, often thoughts lean towards a professional, scientific message to our extra-terrestrial neighbors. Perhaps a carefully crafted radio transmission agreed upon multi-nationally?
Perhaps a physical object akin to the Golden Record attached to the Voyager spacecraft? While all that may be well and noble, one transmission was made in 1983 by a pair of drunken Japanese astronomers, Hisashi Hirabayashi and Masaki Morimoto.
Under the influence, the astronomers transmitted a message to the Altair system simply because it’s close proximity would allow a “quick” response if alien life existed there. Assuming an immediate turnaround upon reception, the aliens could respond with a similarly drunken “cheers” that would arrive on Earth in 2015. Or they might decide Earth’s best and brightest are drunks and that we are easy to colonise.
Scientists consider that we will soon receive an e-mail message from the aliens. According to the astronomers the message is expected to arrive in 2015 from live forms from the Altair solar system. They say that the message will be the response to a radio-wave signal, which had been sent to Altair a quarter century ago by Hisashi Hirabayashi, a Japanese astronomer.
According to Mr. Hirabayashi the response is likely to arrive in 2015. This is in case the intelligent beings received the message decoded it and sent an instant response. It is worth mentioning that Altair is located 16 light-years from our planet.
Hisashi Hirabayashi worked as a scientist at the University of Tokyo Astronomical Observatory. Currently this institution is called National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. In 1983, together with his colleague Masaki Morimoto, he sent the message using a US radio telescope. It was the period when the Japanese celebrated the Tanabata holiday, which is a traditional festival that marks the meeting in the night sky of Vega and Altair, two stars symbolizing goddess Orihime and god Hikoboshi respectively.
Astronomers consider that their message has reached Altair in 1999. It included 13 binary-encoded images, each image measuring 71 x 71 pixels and illustrating the features of our solar system, the position of our planet, known chemical elements, whole numbers and the basis structure of human DNA. Scientists also tried to explain the way life forms biologically evolved on Earth.
According to the theories provided by Mr. Hirabayashi in case the level of aliens’ intelligence is high enough to receive and decode the message, they will be able to send a reply. However, he is still skeptical about the actual response from aliens.
“I believe aliens exist, but they are difficult to find. We haven’t even observed any planets around Altair, so it is highly unlikely we will receive a response,” he said. Recently the images sent by the astronomer have been revealed, being missed for many years. Morimoto, working at the Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory, discovered that among other images sent to Altair there was one that included the molecular formula for ethanol, featuring the kanji characters referring to kanpai, which is a Japanese toast of “cheers!” along with the English word “toast.”
According to Hirabayashi, he came up with the idea when having a drink and jokes that there’s little chance that aliens will get that part of the message.
Published on Mar 7, 2013
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