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Earth receives its first 'alien message' from Mars

Joe Harker

Published 
| Last updated 

Earth receives its first 'alien message' from Mars

Earth has received an 'alien message' from Mars and the public are being invited to decode it and find out what our extra-terrestrial contacts are trying to tell us.

However, as you might have been able to tell by us sticking quote marks around the 'alien message', it's not actually aliens who are trying to ring us up for a chat.

Nope, it's a test run that plain old humans are conducting, just in case ET decides to get in touch with us, where a spacecraft orbiting Mars has sent a signal to planet Earth.

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This message has been sent by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute as part of their simulation of first contact with an alien species, so when the little green men do finally show up, we'll have the tea and biscuits ready.

The 'alien message' actually comes from a human spaceship orbiting Mars, and is a test run for the real thing. Credit: YouTube/A Sign In Space
The 'alien message' actually comes from a human spaceship orbiting Mars, and is a test run for the real thing. Credit: YouTube/A Sign In Space

It's their project, 'A Sign In Space', a sort of intergalactic piece of 'global theatre' which has sent an encoded message from space to our planet.

Daniela de Paulis, the artist behind the project, explained why it would be so important to try something like this.

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She said: "Throughout history, humanity has searched for meaning in powerful and transformative phenomena.

"Receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilisation would be a profoundly transformational experience for all humankind."

"A Sign in Space offers the unprecedented opportunity to tangibly rehearse and prepare for this scenario through global collaboration, fostering an open-ended search for meaning across all cultures and disciplines."

We received the transmission yesterday (24 May) and now it's available to the public to have a crack at decoding.

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It takes a lot of technology to receive an alien message. Credit: YouTube/A Sign In Space
It takes a lot of technology to receive an alien message. Credit: YouTube/A Sign In Space

The message was first sent out from European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which is currently hanging around the red planet.

It was then picked up by three radio astronomy observatories, the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array, California, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, West Virginia, and the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station Observatory, Italy.

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Exactly what the message says is not clear and that's because 'A Sign In Space' wants everyone to have a go at deciphering the out-of-this-world transmission.

ATA Project Scientist Dr. Wael Farah said: “This experiment is an opportunity for the world to learn how the SETI community, in all its diversity, will work together to receive, process, analyse, and understand the meaning of a potential extraterrestrial signal.”

You can download the message here and now it's up to you to figure out what it actually says, and if you do get it right, then perhaps there's a future career in intergalactic diplomacy for you.

Featured Image Credit: Paopano / Alamy Stock Photo A Sign In Space / YouTube

Topics: Technology, News, World News, US News, Aliens, Space

Joe Harker
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