Google is celebrating the 44th anniversary of the Arecibo Message, which is humankind’s first attempt to communicate with intelligent life beyond our planet, with a doodle.
The Arecibo message, sent from the Arecibo Observatory by a group of scientists in Puerto Rico in 1974, was a three-minute message of exactly 1,679 binary digits. It was arranged into 73 lines of 23 characters per line (these are both prime numbers and may help the aliens decode the message).
What is Arecibo Message?
The Arecibo Message is a 1974 interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity and Earth sent to globular star cluster M13 in a hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it.
Forty-four years ago, a group of scientists gathered at the Arecibo Observatory in the tropical forests of Puerto Rico, sent the three-minute Arecibo Message at a cluster of stars 25,000 light years away from Earth.
Why Arecibo Message was sent?
This message was sent to find out the existence of any other living creatures in the universe apart from the earth. If they exist, this message was sent in such a format that they can know about the human existence on Earth.
This message contains a series of exactly 1,679 binary digits (a multiple of two prime numbers) which could be arranged in a grid 73 rows by 23 columns and it was aimed at a cluster of stars 25,000 light years away from earth,” Google said.
The Arecibo Message was devised by researchers including Carl Sagan from Cornell University led by Dr Frank Drake, the astronomer and astrophysicist responsible for the Drake Equation. The Drake Equation is used to estimate the number of planets hosting extraterrestrial life within the Milky Way Galaxy.
Written with the assistance of Carl Sagan, the message itself could be arranged in a rectangular grid of 0s and 1s to form a pictograph representing some fundamental facts of mathematics, human DNA, planet earth’s place in the solar system, and a picture of a human-like figure as well as an image of the telescope itself.
In how many years will the Arecibo Message reach?
Since the Arecibo Message has been sent at a cluster of stars 25,000 light years away from Earth. In the 44 years since it was first transmitted, the message has travelled only 259 trillion miles. Only a tiny fraction of the 146,965,638,531,210,240 or so miles to its final destination.
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