Ever since I was a young kid, I remember hearing about, and watching various movies about aliens and their surprising trips to planet Earth. While these movies are interesting for a myriad of different reasons, I was never one to spend my time researching all the theories about life outside of our planet, and even outside of our solar system. Let me know in the comments if you are a UFO fanatic or not.
Do I believe in other intelligent life forms out there? I do not know. Why? Because, honestly, I do not care. Whether they exist or not, it does not influence my daily life in any way (for now). I would surely care a lot more if it did. Do not get me wrong, it is very fascinating to learn about the potential for life outside of what we know, but it is not on top of my list of priorities. Today, we will discuss some of the recent attempts at contacting potential life forms outside of our planet, and if they are a good idea.
Have you heard about Elon Musk’s recent idea to send a car into space? Yes, you read that correctly. A CAR. He plans on putting a car, playing a single song on repeat, into a rocket, and launching it into Mars’ orbit. What did this poor car ever do to him to deserve such torture? This event is planned to take place in January of next year, so put it in your calendar if you want to follow the story. On Twitter, Elon wrote: “I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.” Do we not have enough trash around us? Do we now need to send tons of useless things to litter the Universe? But I guess that is what you do when you run out of ideas on how to spend all that money you have lying around.
Just in October of this year, we sent a message to GJ 273b (a red dwarf, three times the size of our planet) containing music and scientific information. The package is expected to be delivered to the potential recipient in the year 2030.
It seems that we are all so desperate to RECEIVE a message in return to those we keep sending out, that we probe anything passing Earth for any signs of extraterrestrial life. In particular, a “cylindrical, dark and reddish, a quarter-mile long” object (think of the shape of a cucumber), which is believed to be from outside of our solar system. Because of its strange trajectory, its speed and its unfamiliar looks, researchers believe it might indeed be a spaceship. The astronomers that first discovered this curious object named it “Oumuamua”, which means “messanger” in Hawaiian. Even though the initial radio observation did not return any sounds indicating life or a message, the plan is to keep listening while it approaches and passes Earth. This engrossing object is still light minutes away from us, which gives us some time to come up with different methods to analyze it in a bit more detail. Surely formal reports will follow. However, I will be shocked if it will prove anything else than just a natural object.
What do all these pieces have in common? They are all about reaching out, sending a message, trying to communicate with something that might (or might not) be out there. Why? What is the motivation behind these attempts? Of course, I understand that we are curious, and we would like to learn about undiscovered things, but why are we not at all afraid? How is it that a vast majority of the Sci-fi movies portray aliens as evil, but when it comes to real life, we seem to think that they will just smile, wave back at us and become our best friends instantly, as soon as they receive our messages? Why are we so eager to have a relationship with an unknown specie if we as humans, sometimes cannot even communicate with each other?
From my point of view, there are so many things working AGAINST us and our message. The Universe is so big that it is entirely possible that there IS something that lives away from our planet. So far away that we would be unable to reach with our message, anyway. And then comes the question regarding how advanced that life would be (more or less advanced than us). Would they even WANT contact with us? Maybe they just like their perfect, quiet, little place in the galaxy far far away (Do I get extra points for Star Wars reference?), and they do not care for anything outside of it? What language are they speaking. If they are so different from us, then why would they communicate in a remotely similar way? Or are we hoping to find lonely humans looking for something else? Would that not be ideal?
At this point, I realize that I have so many questions on this topic that it is almost ridiculous. What I think is also ridiculous is sending those messages. They take a long time (decades +) to reach its destination. We might all be dead by the time it is received and responded to. And if not, we might all go extinct after the message is intercepted and those living in space decide to come and conquer our planet.
So, to any and all Aliens:
Please, come in peace.
If you were to send a message into space, what would it say?
What would you want an Alien to know about Earth/ the Human race?
What would you hope to learn from Them?
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