Scientists Disappointed, Get No Response from Aliens

( – In 1983 two scientists, Hisashi Hirabayashi and Masaki Morimoto, sent a radio signal toward Altair, a star 16.7 light years away in the hopes of contacting any alien civilizations living in the system. They used the Stanford University radio telescope to transmit a collection of images that portrayed the evolution of humans from single-celled lifeforms.

Now astronomers with the Japanese University of Hyogo are hoping to catch a reply. They’ve pointed the radio telescope in Saku toward Altair in anticipation. They concluded that August 22nd was the most likely date to receive a reply. Their original message was sent on August 15th, 1983, and contained a series of dot-pixel images relaying the basic evolutionary tree for human life. Unfortunately for them, they received nothing in response.

The pictures show single-celled organisms, and then fish, lizards, an ape, and finally people. They were encoded into radio signals the same way digital information is encoded into emails.

The researchers admit they were drunk when they formed the idea and executed their plan, which did not receive a response. Shinya Narusawa and his team at the University of Hyogo are using a 200-meter radio telescope called the Usuda Deep Space Center in Saku to scan the skies for a response.

August 22nd was seen as the most probable day based on Japanese interpretations of luck and astrology with that date being the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. Folks have criticized the plan as Altair has no planets in regular orbit, however, Narusawa didn’t let that stop him. He indicated that the possibility of exo-planets having an irregular orbit was still a potential source for technologically capable alien civilizations.

Altair resides in the Aquila constellation and is very visible in the night sky. A 2008 piece by Gizmodo covered the plan hatched by the drunk scientists who then said they expected a reply as early as 2015. Some have argued previously that beaming signals into space to connect with potentially hostile aliens is a bad idea, but others argue that sufficient advanced civilizations could detect signals we’ve been beaming for decades, mitigating the need for moderation.

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