Published: 2:33 PM 6/12/2013
by NANCY ATKINSON on JUNE 12, 2013
The Jamesburg Earth Station radio dish in Carmel, California will be used to send the Lone Signal messages to space.
Image via Lone Signal.
Although scientists have been listening for years to search for indications of other sentient life in the Universe, just a few efforts have been made by humans to purposefully send out messages to the cosmos.
Called METI (Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence) or Active SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), these messages have so far been just one-time bursts of info – or “pulses in time” said Dr. Jacob Haqq-Misra.
Haqq-Misra is leading a team of scientists and entrepreneurs who are launching a new initiative called “Lone Signal” which will send the first continuous mass “hailing messages” out into space, starting later this month. They’ll be specifically targeting one star system, Gliese 526, which has been identified as a potentially habitable solar system.
And yes, the general public can participate.
“From the start we wanted to be an experiment where anyone on Earth could participate,” said Haqq-Misra during a press event on June 11, 2013, announcing the project.
“Our scientific goals are to discover sentient beings outside of our solar system,” said Lone Star co-founder Pierre Fabre, also speaking at the event. “But an important part of this project is to get people to look beyond themselves and their differences by thinking about what they would say to a different civilization. Lone Signal will allow people to do that.”
Lone Signal will be using the recommissioned radio dish at the Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel, California, one of the dishes used to carry the Apollo Moon landings live to the world.
Lone Signal will be sending two signals: one is a continuous wave (CW) signal, a hailing message that sends a slow binary broadcast to provide basic information about Earth and our Solar System using an encoding system created by astrophysicist and planetary scientist Michael W. Busch.
The binary code is based on mathematical “first principles” which reflect established laws that, theoretically, are relatively constant throughout the universe; things like gravity and the structure of the hydrogen atom, etc.
“This hailing message is a language we think could be used to instigate communication,” said Haqq-Misra, “and is the most advanced binary coding currently in use.”
The second signal, embedded in the first signal, will be messages from the people of Earth.