METI (Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), a company based in San Francisco is planning on attempting contact with possible alien life on Proxima b, an exoplanet 4.25 light years away, by 2018.
They need to earn $1million before their deadline in order to continuously beam signals from earth until a reply comes back, which could take generations. The message itself will be a mathematical communiqué – as maths is considered a universal language.
In a similar experiments, NASA broadcast The Beatles tune ‘Across The Universe’ to the North Star in 2008 to celebrate their 50th birthday, and last year researchers thought they heard a ‘strong signal’ coming from deep space that could belong to an alien source. It came from the star HD164595, which is 95 light-years away.
The METI scientists have some pretty powerful naysayers, including physicist Steven Hawking. He thinks it’s a risky plan considering we don’t know what we could find. It could just be the biggest mistake we ever make.
‘We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,’ Hawking said in 2010. He has compared meeting aliens to Christopher Columbus meeting Native Americans: ‘That didn’t turn out so well’, reports NBC News.
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Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.