Message sent to potential alien life
With the aim of contacting alien life, astronomers have sent a radio message to a neighbouring star system — one of the closest known to contain a potentially habitable planet. The target star is GJ 273, also known as Luyten’s star, a red dwarf in the northern constellation of Canis Minor, just 12 light years away, said researchers at Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) International. The star has two planets. One of them, known as GJ 273b, orbits within the its “habitable zone” and could potentially harbour liquid water, and perhaps life. By the calculations of the researchers, the earth could get a message back within 25 years. “I think that is an unlikely outcome, but it would be a welcome outcome,” Douglas Vakoch, president of METI International, was quoted as saying by New Scientist. The message was beamed from an antenna in Norway. It was sent on the anniversary of the “Arecibo message”, a radio transmission beamed towards a distant star cluster in 1974 from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.