Unfriending the Cosmos

Unfriending the Cosmos

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a group of “scientists, businessmen, and entrepreneurs” have come up with a real gem of a brainstorm. Welcome to Project Lone Signal, which intends to crowd-source messages to be sent into space. Here are just a few highlights:

– The messages are to be beamed to the Gliese 526 star system, where “Researchers haven’t found any planets orbiting…” Actual comment from co-founder Pierre Fabre: “We’re targeting the most logical, nearest stars now.”

– The first message will be a hailing message, which contains Earth’s position, the periodic table, a binary representation of hydrogen (a ‘1’ with a ‘0’ in orbit?), and a request to “Like” us on Facebook.

– “Ideally, that channel will direct the observer to the adjacent spectrum where the crowd-sourced messages will be carried.” This is not ideal for the Gliesians, whose motto is “What did we ever do to you?”

– One way people can participate is to “see how far their beam has traveled from Earth”. Quick back of the envelope calculation: if you sent your message one day ago, it has traveled one light-day. (Fun science experiment: Light takes about 5 1/2 hours to get to former-planet Pluto. Light takes about 17.6 years to get to Gliese 526. Send your message, wait 6 hours, and then start asking the Lone Signal people, “Are we there yet?” every day for the next 17.6 years.)

– Lone Signal officials think this “could also be a way to preserve human culture into the future”. This will be very valuable in 35.2 years, when the Gliesian fleet arrives to put an end to the human race and its endless stream of Viagra ads and Twitter feeds. The last message of a dying planet:

@Gliese: glb plrglbh xtnction 4 u #NiceDeathRay RT

This will not end well for humanity.

(Click on the picture to read the original article.)

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