The Arecibo Message Will Miss Its Mark

Odd Nugget Social-done

Way back when, in 1974, the team at Puerto Rico's Arecibo radio telescope transmitted a one-time radio broadcast - to space - now called the Arecibo message.

Indeed, they were calling occupants of interplanetary craft; or at least attempting to. And no, the Carpenters were not involved.


"The core of [the] M13 [star cluster], to which the message was aimed, will no longer be in that location when the message arrives."


Today, on the 44th anniversary of the attempted contact, we acknowledge the improbability of ever receiving a response from the distant star cluster the message was directed at. It's apparently far enough away for our approximate waiting time to be a rather ridiculous 50,000 years from the date of the transmission.

As it turns out, everyone involved knew this when the message was sent in the first place.

They sent it anyway.

But what was 'it'?

The message itself can be broken into 7 distinct parts:

1. Numbers 1-10 (to prove we can count?)

2. The chemical makeup of our DNA (in case any aliens want to meet and mate or something?)

3. Formulae for bits of our DNA (so aliens can crunch numbers on us being edible or not?)

4. Nucleotides/Helix structure of our DNA (for aliens to make their own pet humans, maybe?)

5. A crude picture of a stick man and population information (to prove we're pretty artistic)

6. Another crude representation - this time, of our Solar System - showing which planet we're on (So they can call us back, right?)

7. One last image - this one of the Arecibo telescope itself (cause why not?)

They're never gonna call us back.

512px-AreciboMessageShifted.svg-done

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