In the early 19th century, Austrian astronomer Joseph Johann Von Littrow earnestly proposed that humans dig trenches configured in vast geometric patterns in the Sahara desert , fill them with kerosene and light them ablaze. The idea was to send a clear message to alien civilizations living elsewhere in the solar system: We are here. Von Littrow never saw his idea come to fruition. Still, long after he proposed his ambitious plan, we haven’t stopped our attempts to contact extraterrestrial life. So, what messages have we sent to aliens? Related: Are aliens ignoring us? Radio actualized the quest to declare Earth’s existence. In 1962, Soviet scientists aimed a radio transmitter at Venus and saluted the planet in Morse code. This introduction, the first of its kind, included three words: Mir (Russian for “peace” or “world”), Lenin and SSSR (the Latin alphabet acronym for the Cyrillic name of the Soviet Union). The message was considered largely symbolic, according to a 2018 article published in the International Journal of Astrobiology . More than anything, it was a test run for a brand-new planetary radar, a technology which sends radio waves into space, with the primary goal of observing and mapping objects in… Read full this story
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