Closer EncountersWhat should we say to aliens?

Closer EncountersWhat should we say to aliens?

Humankind is listening for messages from space, waiting to hear from the intelligent beings that must be out there—somewhere. The SETI Institute’s search for extraterrestrial intelligence directs massive telescope arrays and countless citizen-scientists to sift through the hum of the cosmos for some meaningful irregularity.

In 1977, the Voyager Golden Record was sent into orbit on both of the Voyager spacecraft. Featuring Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” whale song and greetings in 55 languages, it was a hodgepodge of hellos intended for alien ears. But those were simpler times. The question of whether we should intentionally convey messages to space beings has become a fraught question. In 2015, a large group of scientists concurred that because we have no idea how extraterr...

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