The inhabitants of what might be Earth’s nearest ‘waterworld’ may well be scratching their heads in twenty years time, as a barrage of 160-character messages from enthusiastic Earthlings bombard their airwaves. Twenty years is just about how long it will take the messages to reach the enormous Gliese 581d, travelling at light speed from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex with the cooperation of NASA, and it’ll be another twenty years before we can get a reply. That is, of course, if the aliens of Gliese (Gliesians?) exist, have the technology to receive the messages, and speak English.
Hellofromearth.net is the brainchild of Cosmos Magazine’s Wilson da Silva, and was set up as part of Australia’s National Science Week. You can read others’ messages, or add your own (English only, please, and nothing inappropriate!) at the site. The short missives (well into their thousands) so far include the serious, the witty, quotes from Monty Python and Oscar Wilde, and my favourite so far:
“MY AIM OF CONTACTING YOU IS TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING THE SUM OF THIRTY FIVE MILLION U.S.DOLLARS OUT OF NIGERIA AND INTO YOUR TRUSTED BANK ABROAD.”