Our planet is set to receive its very first 'alien' message from Mars today (Wednesday May 24).
But, it's not what you might think.
No, it's not proof of life on Mars. Nor is it David Bowie, back from the dead, to tell us there actually is life on Mars.
The encoded signal will actually come from a spacecraft in the orbit of the Red Planet, sent by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute.
The signal will be beamed down from Mars to three massive telescopes on Earth's surface.
To work on the project, entitled 'A Sign in Space', SETI brought together a team of experts made up of researchers, scientists, and even artists, to stage the effort, which will see radio operator Daniela de Paulis bop the message from Mars to Earth.
"Throughout history, humanity has searched for meaning in powerful and transformative phenomena," de Paulis said.
"Receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilization 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."
The European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, currently revolving around the Red Planet, will transmit the encoded message at 19:00 UTC / 12:00 pm PDT.
The message will then be received by Earth a mere 16 minutes later.
It will simulate what it will be like for Earth to receive a message from an extraterrestrial force from outer space, however SETI is keeping its cards close to its chest about what the encoded message will contain.
That will all be revealed after the message is received by three world-class radio astronomy observatories located across the globe.
After the transmission, the signal will be processed and then made available to the public for decoding.
So it looks like we will get to 'decode' a signal from outer space.
Anyone working to decode and interpret the message can chat about it on the ' A Sign in Space' Discord server.
There will also be a series of Zoom-based discussions that will be open to the public to discuss 'the societal implications of detecting a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization'.
These Zoom meetings will take place over 6-8 weeks after the transmission.
A list of events with registration links is here.
Looks like it's game on, pals.
Let the space games commence.
Featured Image Credit: Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo / Alamy Stock Photo. Paopano / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Science, NASA, Space, Technology, News