‘We are not alone’, be it exciting or haunting, none of us can ignore the fact that some serious search for extra-terrestrial life has begun. Project Breakthrough Listen, $100 million dollar project funded by entrepreneur Yuri Milner and headed by Stephen Hawking, Frank Drake and other notable scientists is a 10 year project initiated to hunt for ‘intelligent life’ by employing technologies never done before.
You all must be well aware about the Big Bang Theory that answered many questions on existence of earth. These are no miracles, but pure science. Going by present pace, that day is not far when we will be able to defy death or create robots possessing emotions to understand humans. Eminent personalities including Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and many others have shown their reluctance towards artificial intelligence or machine learning, as a threat to humans, by signing a petition on ban of further development of such machines.
It’s possible that ‘species’ on the other side are way too cunning. No one has any idea on do they even exist, but this is what Breakthrough is all about. Whatever is the case, curiosity that begins with profound knowledge are like tides that don’t settle until tangible results are achieved.
In 1977, Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan (you may not have heard these names before but believe me these are some cool people who you must read about) from SETI (Search for extra terrestrial Intelligence) created Voyage Interstellar Message, called Golden Phonograph Records, affixed to NASAs Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. The message had greetings recorded in 55 different Humans languages, salutations of humpback whales, 118 images including some from great music traditions and an essay written in sound that tells the story of earth from its earliest formation. Some parts of conveying joy included first words of mother to her new born baby, a kiss and the brain waves of a young woman in love. This spacecraft was destined to go far away than ever before and keep on venturing with a shell life of a billion years. Matter of concern was that whether true picture of earth including harsh realities of violence, deprivation or starvation had to be conveyed or just the ‘best parts’ would do. In the end, it the second version was accepted as it was feared that conveying first part would create a sense of fear towards earth inhabitants and may prove to be fatal for the mission. The probability of record reaching the targeted species is virtually nil in an empty space that has no limits, but chances of being found as derelict voyager by aliens to examine its contents are quite satisfying.
Now, science fiction movie watchers may raise a question that is quiet acceptable, ‘why the message was not sent via radio telescopes?’ as that would be much easier. Dear reader’s science has done some mesmerizing works but can be do the reverse if not handled carefully. What I intend to say is if signals are sent via radio telescopes an existential danger would in occur, if aliens exist, since newly acquired technology by humans is so sensitive that if not used with precautions can do devastations beyond imagination.
Many other projects have been employed by different organizations of the world in hunt for terrestrial life but Breakthrough is something extra ordinary due to technology and support is provides to researchers as well as the common public, yes you read it correct, the project will provide all collected data openly to masses so people from any field of life can contribute to this project in spare time. Besides, it plans to launch a worldwide competition on designing a digital message to be used in the project with prizes worth $1,000,000. For more information, visit http://breakthroughinitiatives.org/.
Hope I was able to well verse you with present breakthroughs for alien hunt and divert you from everyday thoughts to something that concerns each and every one of us.
Aliens can be anything, they may have any shape, structure, environment, emotions, and the list never ends and since man is a curious being no stone is left unturned to answer questions of logic.
The purpose is that, be it god or divine who created universe or be it due to unified theory, both of them could not be so partial to create only one habitable planet that would be filled by species with a mixed blessing of mortality, it sounds a bit off the track.
Let us wait for some tangible results and till then wonder about the presence of some secret or unidentified species residing somewhere other than earth.
I am not an astronomer nor a journalist nor any specialist, just a young boy who had some solutions as per best of capabilities. If you find something that is not correct factually or logically do let me know. Constructive criticism in welcomed.
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