Recently, the European Union’s Trace Gas Orbiter probe sent a coded message to Earth. The test took place on March 24 – 16 minutes after the signal was sent, it was received by three large radio telescopes on Earth, after which attempts began to decipher it – this is how the “exercises” take place as part of the A Sign in Space project (“Sign in Space”).
Tests are carried out as part of the SETI program – humanity is looking for signs of intelligent life outside the Earth. The multi-week project A Sign in Space is led by Daniela de Paulis, who works at the site of the SETI Institute in California, a non-profit organization dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial civilizations.
According to her, receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilization could be a very meaningful experience for humanity, and A Sign in Space provides an unprecedented opportunity in real conditions to “rehearse” receiving such a signal and prepare for such a scenario through international cooperation.
The Green Bank Observatory is one of three objects that “heard” the Trace Gas Orbiter signal. In addition to her, the message was received by the Allen Telescope Array of the SETI Institute and the so-called. Medicina Radio Astronomical Station in northern Italy – This facility is operated by the local National Institute of Astrophysics. Now the researchers at each site will process the signal and make the materials available to their colleagues around the world, as well as to the general public. The project team wants representatives of various scientific fields to study the signal – and try to decipher it.
According to scientists, the experiment provides an opportunity for the world to learn how the SETI community will work to receive, process, analyze and understand the meaning of a signal from a potentially alien intelligence. Scientists believe that we are talking “more than about astronomy”, communication with extraterrestrial civilizations will require the broadest knowledge. More details can be found on the project website. It is known that in the next 6-8 weeks the project team will study the possible social consequences in the event of a real discovery of the “technosignature” of developed alien life.
Previously, scientists came to the conclusion that it would not be easy to detect such a signal – they found some explanations for why we still have not detected radio signals from alien civilizations.
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