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Friday, August 14, 2009

Send a SMS to a planet located far, far away

Okay, its more like sending a tweet to a planet far far away as you are restricted by 160 character limit, but since the rags have gone in to town saying send a SMS, me too sticks with it – send a SMS.

You now have a chance to send a SMS far beyond our Solar system to a planet that is 20.3 light years away from Earth.

Hello from Earth

COSMOS magazine, as part of the National Science Week in Australia & International Year of Astronomy 2009, has decided to send a signal to the planet Gliese 581 d, that would contain all the selected messages. Gliese 581 d  is a planet that Scientists believe has all the necessary conditions to support life. Hence has a high possibility of having an actual, possibly intelligent life form that would be able to receive our signal and decipher our message.

The messages would be transmitted from the ground station at Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex on the 24th of August [around 10 days from today].

To get your message onboard the radio signal, you would need to register & put in your message here. Following your submission, to learn your result, you’d probably have to wait for 15-30 minutes to find out if your message has been approved by the human moderators for beaming. Once approved, sit back & wait for our message to travel a distance of 20.3 light-years. Thus a reply from them would take a minimum of 40.6 years.

Assuming they have a efficient, sincere bureaucratic system not afflicted by the maladies afflicting ours [India’s] – a reply from them might just coincide with the time people of my generation would start retiring from work. A nice move for popularizing Science among the young around the world, I must say.

FWIW, here is the message I entered & was approved

May this message find you all in the best of health. Would love to hear from you & learn about you, if you do exist. Please exist & be a kind civilization.