An extraterrestrial signal has been beam to Earth for the first time from Mars as the hunt for extraterrestrial life continues.
On Wednesday at 9:00 PM, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the European Space Agency flashed an encoded message to Earth from its orbit around Mars to mimic the scenario of receiving a genuine signal from another civilization.
“Humanity has looked for significance in strong and transformative phenomena throughout history. A Sign in Space project creator Daniela de Paulis stated that receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilization would be a profoundly transformative experience for all of humanity.
Paulis, an artist in residence at the SETI Institute, has assembled a group of international experts, scientists, and artists to develop a project that examines the process of interpreting and deciphering an extraterrestrial message.
As part of the project, the European probe transmitted the signal, which was picked up by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station in Italy, the Allen Telescope Array in California, and the Very Large Array in New Mexico.
“We’re asking people and groups to participate in decoding and interpreting the message’s content. The technical and cultural content of the message will be determined by the decoding and interpretation process, according to the project website.
It should be noted that the message was created and encoded by de Paulis and her team and is being kept a secret at the moment. People are now being asked to send in their interpretations of the message for the project.
“This experiment is an opportunity for the world to learn how the SETI community, in all its diversity, will work together to receive, process, analyse, and understand the meaning of a potential extraterrestrial signal,” said Dr. Wael Farah, the scientist working on the ATA project.
More than astronomy, broad knowledge will be needed to communicate with extraterrestrials. We hope to take the first steps towards uniting a community to take on this challenge with “A Sign in Space,” Dr. Farah continued.