The man sent his first radio message to the stars 44 years ago – and we are still waiting to hear.
The message Arecibo, which consists of basic information on the human race and the Earth, was sent on November 16, 1974, from the radio telescope Arecibo to Puerto Rico. The message has been sent to demonstrate the capabilities of antenna equipment that has recently been upgraded to a 1,000 m telescopic antenna.
Transmitted at a frequency of 2380MHz, the message consisted of 1,679 binary bits representing those and scans distributed in a network of 73 rows for 23 columns. To mark the anniversary of the message shipment, Google designed the Doodle that imitates the composition of the message. (Doodle will appear in many parts of the world, including Puerto Rico, but not the US land, Google says.)
Written with the help of astronomer Karl Sagan, the resulting image (right) contained applications of basic chemical substances, human DNA, a coarse diagram of our solar system that shows the position of the Earth in it, simple images of the human image and images of the Arecibo telescope itself.
The message was created by a team of researchers led by Frank Drake, then professor of astronomy at Cornell University. Drake, who was largely involved in the search for alien intelligences, developed Drake's equation in 1961 to estimate the number of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy that could live alien life.
"It's a strictly symbolic event, to show that we can do it," said Donald Campbell, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University in a statement in 1999. Campbell was a research associate at the Arecibo Observatory when the message was sent.
Some have criticized the transmissions as dangerous, worrying that they could attract the attention of enemy aliens. Probably not to be worried, because it's a long record that the message can be read by alien intelligence.
The message was sent only once over narrow air directed towards a group of 300,000 stars in the constellation Hercules known as the M13. And do not hold your breath waiting for the answer. Traveling at the speed of light, the message will last 25,000 years to reach the desired destination – and another 25,000 years to return.
Also, a star-centered cluster will shift from the path as part of the normal rotation of the galaxy to the moment the message arrives. But the message will continue on its way through the universe, reaching distant galaxies in millions of years.
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Doodling our world: Take a look at the previous celebration of Google about people, events and holidays that affect our lives.