Saturday, February 9, 2008

Could a Beatles Song be a Threat to the Human Race?

So I read about it first over at Black Holes and Astrostuff, then on Universe Today, and even after that a few people were talking about it on the forums, so I thought that I would put in a word about the Beatles song being blasted across the galaxy. Well you may or may have not heard about this yet but NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) sent a transmission toward the North Star, Polaris. The transmission sent was the song "Across the Universe" by the Beatles and I guess was intended for any sufficiently advanced extra terrestrial life to listen to. Though what is being said now is that, not just this one transmission, but all of the radio and television leakage into the galaxy, along with info about position in the solar system and information about human biology on the Voyager and Pioneer probes we may just be giving away information that we wouldn't want possibly menacing aliens to have. Pretty much all of the scientific community agrees that an alien threat because of this is really zero, though many people think that we should discuss the issue globally before we move forward with transmitting messages into the cosmos. This discussion began at the SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) "Sound of Silence" meeting where scientists talked about the fact that in spite of 50 years of listening we haven't heard a single signal from ET. Some of the optimistic discussion of the meeting focused on the first of the 42 dishes of the Allen Telescope Array that began operation last year, which will be dedicated entirely to SETI. And the proposed Square Kilometer Array telescope will be sensitive enough to pick up signals such as alien TV and radio.

Where it started:

The Fool


Swubird said...

I think I would prefer that we confine ourselves to listening for aliens rather than broadcasting to aliens. I know that sounds like I'm hedging my bet that anybody superior to us will also be civilized and compassionate, but on the long shot that they aren't any of those things - why not play it safe?

Max-e said...

My immediadate and cynical response to beaming the song into space is, "So English must be the universal language" :)
But I suppose it is all about radio signals.
You have a great and informative site. I am going to add you to my blog roll.
You and Bob Johnston have piqued my interest is space, which has been lying dormant for many years

The Fool said...

Swubird I think that your stance is deffinetly the best for the current time, of course by the time that any aliens get our transmissions it will be at least hundereds of years in the future, unless they are extremely close. But we will just have to watch how this plays out.

The Fool

The Fool said...

Well Max the little green men may not speak English at first but after recieving thousands of our radio and television broadcasts I guess it wouldn't be out of the question for them to have decoded it and understand the language now.

And thanks for the add. I'll add you to my blogroll also, I just found your blog and really like what I have seen so far. Hey its great that you have picked up an interest in space.

The Fool

Bob Johnson said...

I think that this is way too much to do about nothing, I think that we have to reach out and touch somebody, can't hide our heads in the sand forever, I for one hope we find somebody, if they are evil, so be it, we have to be who we are, it would be like me hiding in my house knowing there might be some bully out there with a gun, maybe there is a person outside my house that knows the secrets of taking great astrophotos, thats life and the gamble I would take, just me though.

Hypospermia remedy said...

Beatles were one of the best and I am sure they cannot be a threat to anyone.

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