Starting on June 18, you, too, can tweet to aliens and gain billions of new Followers –for a price. If you are exceedingly lucky, though, and gain the new Followers from just your initial tweet, the price is free. That’s far better than paying the fees that others tweet about with the promise that you will just gain mere thousands of Followers, isn’t it?
It’s doubtful that aliens reading the majority of our tweets would think that there’s intelligent life living on the Earth, though — well, advanced intelligent life, anyway.
The aliens that our tweets might reach are those that may live in the neighborhood of Gliese 526, which is a red dwarf star approximately 18 light years away.
Many scientists think that there is a good chance that there are planets orbiting around it which might be habitable, with Earth-like atmospheres — in other words, planets which are prime candidates to be the homes of intelligent alien life forms.
On June 18, if you pay the space-technology company Lone Signal 99 cents, you can buy a block of four. The first tweet is free, and you can even also send the aliens photos of whatever you’d like.
Each subsequent text costs one credit, while the price for a photo is three. If you want to continue your correspondence and your charming tweets gain you billions of new Followers, $99.99 will buy 4,000 credits.
The possibilities are endless. You could send them photos of majestic mountains, bald eagles, the world’s great artwork, your junk — hey, how did that one make the list?
Lone Signal has leased a radio telescope to beam the messages, along with a carrier signal that explains Earth’s position, outlines the elements of the periodic table, and defines the hydrogen atom in binary code.
Contrary to the subject matter of many science fiction short stories and novels, our current television and phone signals won’t one day reach aliens who are many light years away from us. The signals are just too weak to carry them even at all near that distance.
Lone Signal won’t just send out blips of data, according to Jacob Haqq-Misra, the company’s chief science officer. It will also continuously transmit content from cultures around the world. Haqq-Misra said that he hopes Lone Signal will “inspire a lot of passion in the space sciences and get people thinking about their role in the greater universe.”
Haqq-Misra explains that radio signals are the fastest and most sufficient delivery method of messages for long distances. He hopes to “inspire a lot of passion in the space sciences and get people thinking about their role in the greater universe.”
The messages that the company will broadcast will be directed toward a different star system roughly once a month. The scientific messages and tweets which you send to aliens will be transmitted using the 10-story Jamesburg Earth Station radio telescope which is located near Carmel, California.
Is it possible that our attempts to contact intelligent life might backfire on us, and lead to an invasion of the Earth by unfriendly, hostile aliens on a mission of conquest?
Yes, it is possible, but, according to Haqq-Misra, “the benefits of radio communication on Earth most probably outweigh the potential harm of detection by extraterrestrial watchers; however, the uncertainty regarding the outcome of contact with extraterrestrial beings creates difficulty in assessing whether or not to engage in long-term and large-scale METI.”
What Haqq-Misra is trying to say is that maybe this is dangerous for us, but no one really knows, and the potential benefits — with luck — will hopefully outweigh any potentially detrimental outcomes of our human/alien social networking contacts.
The transmission signals take long enough to process to buy humans some time to defend ourselves against a potentially hostile invasion. If text signals ever return to Earth, they will not return until 2050.
Would you like to gain billions of new Followers? Consider sending a tweet or two to the aliens of the planets which orbit the red dwarf sun Gliese 526. When they arrive here one day, and ask: “Take us to your leader,” we’ll send them straight to your doorstep.
Written by: Douglas Cobb