Monday, November 27, 2017

Message Sent to Distant Planet That Could Host Life

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


Image Credit: Danielle Futselaar/METI
Image Credit: Danielle Futselaar/METI
 Scientists at Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence International (METI), a San-Francisco-based nonprofit, have beamed a message to GJ273, a red dwarf that lies 12.36 light-years from Earth. GJ 273, also known as Luyten's star, hosts two known plants, one of which, GJ 273b, may be capable of supporting life as we know it.
 Although the message was designed to provoke a response from the hypothetical organisms of GJ 273b, the project also aims at sending a foundation for the future.
 "It is a prototype for what I think we would most likely need to do 100 times, or 1,000 times, or 1 million times," said Douglas Vakoch, president of METI, told "To me, the big success of the project will come if, 25 years from now, there's someone who remembers to look [for a response]. If we could accomplish that, that would be a radical shift of perspective."
 METI is considered controversial in some parts of the science community such as SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence). Some famed scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, have even suggested that this active strategy of seeking out life could be dangerous through betraying our existence to super-advanced hostiles, with potentially dire consequences to humanity and the rest of our planet.

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