We made contact - with aliens that is - this time they responded.
09/05/2001 5:55:55 PM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO
It all started in 1974, before SETI (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) was even formed (1984), but at the beginning of the Arecibo project. At this time, upgrading the Arecibo station in the US Territory of Puerto Rico was done with the help of Frank Drake and Carl Sagan.
The Arecibo radio telescope dish to the left is the largest in the world. The first pulsar in a binary system was discovered in 1974 using Arecibo, leading to important confirmation of Einstein's theory of general relativity and a Nobel Prize for astronomers Russell Hulse and Joseph Taylor in 1993.
The most interesting experiment in 1974 with Arecibo however was it's 3 Tera-watt narrow-band transmission of a "human template" in the direction of the M13 globular star cluster which consists of 300,000 stars and is in the constellation of Hercules.
The human template transmission was made originally by Frank Drake and with great cooperation from Carl Sagan, who's book, later translated into the movie "Contact" was loosely based. The name of Carl Sagan to this date reminds many of "Contact" and it only seems fitting he was part of the November 16th, 1974 human template transmission from Arecibo. The journey of the human template message from Arecibo would take 22,800 light years to reach Messier 13. It took a tiny fraction of that to receive a reply however.
The human template, originally sent in 1974 by Arecibo is shown to the right. With the help of Richard C. Hoagland, in 1971 templates were added to United States spacecraft, but the human template transmission in 1974 was sent at the speed of light and in binary form. The blank space in the image represents a binary 0 and the solid blocks represent binary 1's.
The Arecibo message included, among other things, the binary equivalent of the numbers 1-10 showing a "base of 10" identifying our math system and a way to decipher the message. Below these numbers identified the most common atomic numbers in life that we knew at that time. We transmitted our atomic numbers for Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Phosphorus. We didn't stop there and added the molecular formulas for our human DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid).
In 1974, we knew the estimated number of nucleotides in our DNA, and we transmitted those as well and you can also see our "Double Helix" DNA Strand. We also sent, as the human race, our average height, and a rough proportional representation of our bodies. The population of our planet earth, which in 1974 was estimated as 4.29 Billion Humans was also transmitted. For the source of the transmission, planet Earth, Arecibo, we sent our solar system identifying the third planet from the Sun - Earth - just under our feet. Also with the source was the Arecibo Telescope, with it's diameter.
Expecting the transmission to take 22,800 Light Years might have been an exaggeration when, in reality it may reach life much earlier. In fact, the transmission has now traveled nearly 27 light years from Earth (156 trillion + miles) - towards M13, and has passed the distance of the closest star from our Sun which is 4.3 light years away. It takes only approximately 1 minute to reach Mars traveling at light speed for perspective, or 1.23 seconds to reach the moon.
Einstein as we all know has been extremely important to Science. The unexpected correlation between Einstein and Arecibo in 1974 is evident as a Nobel prize was awarded due to Arecibo discovery of the Pulsar in a "Binary system" and the astronomers helping to prove his Theory of General Relativity. It is a basic postulate of the theory of relativity that the speed of light is constant. Einstein even intensified all the "time travel" talk amongst scientists. Coincidence about Einsteins' connection to the 1974 Arecibo transmission? There is no such thing as a coincidence. It would take 22,800 light years at the speed of light to reach M13, yet we have crop formations 1 year apart at almost 26 years and almost 27, a factored difference of more than 1,000. In 1916 Einstein published his expanded General/Special Theory of Relativity to include gravitation as a determiner of the curvature of a space-time continuum - time travel.
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