(NewsNation) — NASA is hoping to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence via a project called “Beacon in the Galaxy,” which would include naked illustrations of humans, according to a new study.
“The message is simple but meaningful with the ultimate goal to “start a dialogue with ETI — no matter how far in the future that might occur,” researchers stated in Arxiv, an open-access repository of scientific papers published this week.
The latest plan comes as Congress wants answers from the Pentagon on UFO sightings.
Presented by 11 researchers ranging from a host of institutions, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA’s ROSES Exoplanet Research Program, the proposal will include a binary-coded message with an invitation to respond using a radio telescope apparatus of their own.
These won’t be graphic pictures, however, but rather basic anatomical drawings of a naked man and a woman accompanied with DNA descriptions.
The humans are also waving, to portray a warm, welcoming invitation, the researchers note.
“This information is part of the basic expectation of any message to an ETI as it allows recognition of our appearance — a detail of a given ETI that would no doubt be of interest to us, and relevant should further exchanges be established, or we someday physically meet,” the scientists in the study said.
In addition to human anatomy, the potential message would also include a time stamp, location stamp, visual explanations of algebra and other mathematical operations, an illustration of the solar system and a map of the earth.
While past space missions of this sort tried sending aspects of human culture — like a poem by inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, lyrics and quotes from the Beatles and a fossil belonging to an ancient human ancestor in the 2021 Lucy Mission — scientist involved in the BITG mission wanted to hone in on mathematics and physics.
“Though the concept of mathematics in human terms is potentially unrecognizable to ETI, binary is likely universal across all intelligence,” the study reads. “Binary is the simplest form of mathematics as it involves only two opposing states: zero and one, yes or no, black or white, mass or empty space.”
Liberty Vittert is a professor of the practice of data science at the Olin Business School at the Washington University in St. Louis who has done research on this very topic.
She joined “On Balance with Leland Vittert” on Monday and says the idea is not a wise one.
“The real scary part is, in the 70s, we sent all this stuff, and the real difference about what scientists want to do now is not only send nude pictures of men and women waving, but they want to send a map of the earth and they want to send our exact location in the Milky Way, so if these aliens do see it and they are there, they can come exactly where we are,” she said.
“I think the scientist doing this never saw ‘Independence Day,’ she said. “I think there is not a way that this ends well, except that it’s such a dumb idea that the aliens think it’s funny or don’t see.”
The scientists, however, are not as afraid.
“Logic suggests a species which has reached sufficient complexity to achieve communication through the cosmos would also very likely have attained high levels of cooperation amongst themselves and thus will know the importance of peace and collaboration,” according to the team.
They also recommend using the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope in China and the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array in Northern California for transition.
Stay tuned to hear if the proposal is accepted.