Is sending representations of the naked human body to the ends of space really a good idea? The question arises again in 2022, after a study conducted by NASA – part of the “Beacon in the Galaxy” project, which aspires to determine which messages will be sent into space, broadcasting them in all directions, hoping one day to get an answer from a civilization outside ground.
In the study, scientists actually went back to concepts developed in the 1960s before the launch of the Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2, which all contained a plate or disk and somewhat abstract inscriptions that represented the human body of a man and a woman in the simplest device.
Why would NASA send pictures of naked humans to space?
From the outset it should be clearly understood that the chance of effectively decoding the message is slim. Scientists face the first big problem: sending a message into space already depends in itself on the technologies that humanity has developed over the centuries and a method of communication associated with these technologies. In particular, this data must be transmitted in binary format.
To maximize the chances of a message being decoded, it’s also a case of not increasing the baud/sec too much. Which mostly means sending high pixel representations. As the study researchers noted: “While the concept of mathematics from a human perspective is potentially unrecognizable by extraterrestrial intelligence, the binary system is likely to be universal across all intelligences.”
To follow up: “The binary system is the simplest form of mathematics, because it includes only two opposing states: zero and one, yes or no, black or white, mass presence, or absence, empty space.” Study authors add: “The proposal of the message includes basic mathematical and physical concepts, allowing the creation of a global pattern of communication, followed by information on the biochemical composition of life on Earth, and the position of the Solar System in the Milky Way in relation to known star groups, as well as digital representations of the Solar System and the Earth’s surface” .
However, among “Information on the biochemical composition of life on Earth”Scientists suggest embedding an image of a naked man and woman next to a strand of DNA, as on the Voyager sensors disk. In any case, do not panic: the distances between the stars are simply too colossal, and the speed of light remains an essential limitation, whether it is to receive such a message, or simply to travel.
The star closest to us, Alpha Centauri, is currently 4,367 light-years away. But it is not certain that there will be any habitable planet, even if scientists discover several planets around this star system.
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