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Astronomers are expecting a message from aliens today

Astronomers are expecting a message from aliens today

Forty years ago, two astronomers sent a message into space. They're hoping the aliens respond today.

Scientists are hoping to receive a message from aliens today that is 40 years in the making.

On August 15, 1983, astronomers used an antenna at Stanford University in the United States to beam a message into space and they believe today (August 22) is the earliest they can expect a response from the aliens.

Professors Masaki Morimoto and Hisashi Hirabayashi blasted 13 drawings in radio wave form to a star called Altair almost 40 years ago to the day.

Altair is about 16.7 light-years away from our planet.

Shinya Narusawa

The hope was that any intelligent life existing on planets around the star would receive the message and send one back and they believed the message would take approximately 40 years to come back to them.

The 13 drawings Morimoto and Hirabayashi sent into space succinctly explained the Earth's history, our solar system, and even included an explanation of what DNA is.

Tonight, a team led by Shinya Narusawa at the University of Hyogo, Japan, will use the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) antenna to search the sky for a reply.

For around an hour, the team will listen for any unusual radio signals and hope to come across a similar message to what was sent out four decades ago.

"A large number of exoplanets have been detected since the 1990s," Narusawa told the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

"Altair may have a planet whose environment can sustain life."

However, even if the original message was successful, they may need to wait longer to receive a reply.

Professor Morimoto, who has been described as ‘an inspiration for the younger generations entering the newly born radio astronomy community in Japan’ died in 2010.

Dr Hirabayashi, who has written books on intelligent extraterrestrial life, is now a professor emeritus at JAXA.

We'll have to wait and see whether he receives a reply to the message he sent into space 40 years ago.

Featured Image Credit: Steven Puetzer/Getty Images. Pallava Bagla/Getty Images.

Topics: News, Space