Researchers at the Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (METI), in association with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, Spain are sending messages exclusively to attract aliens. This transmission project is called Sónar Calling GJ273b, and the messages have been sent to 12 light years away as a part of the Spanish music festival 'Sonar'.
Messages sent to red dwarf
The messages from METI has been sent to the red dwarf star named GJ273. The scientists have targeted this red dwarf as it has a habitable exoplanet called GJ273b. This red dwarf is located 12.4 light years away from the Earth and astronomers believe that they will receive a reply from the aliens by June 21, 2043. It will take 25 years to receive a reply from the aliens, considering the distance between Earth and the red dwarf, clarifies the authority
Humans inviting possible alien invasion?
The move of METI has not gone down well with many conspiracy theorists around the world. Some of them claim that contacting the aliens will be a foolish decision as it will result in an invasion. As per these theorists, aliens capable of intercepting and deciphering the messages sent by us will be more powerful than humans and the final result will be an inevitable catastrophe.
Earlier, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has also shared similar beliefs. According to Hawking, if aliens are the first to visit the Earth, it indicates that they are much superior to us, and their arrival will cause mass extinction on Earth.
Soon after the transmission of messages, Douglas Vakoch, president of METI gave an exclusive interview to Newsweek and explained why they went ahead with such an initiative.
"When we're not clear how risky an activity is, we rely on the most vivid images that come to mind to help us decide. Cognitive psychologists call it the availability heuristic. We rely on the images that are most available to us—the vivid ones—and take that as the truth. What could be more vivid than the image of an alien invasion?," said Vakoch.
Vakoch also ruled out the possibility of an alien invasion due to these signals aired in space. "Any civilization that could travel to Earth to do us harm could already pick up our leakage television and radio signals. So there's no increased risk of alerting them of our existence. Earth's atmosphere has been giving off evidence of life's existence for two and a half billion years, thanks to the oxygen in our air. So any civilization that's paranoid about competition has had plenty of time to come to Earth and wipe us out. That hasn't happened," added Vakoch.
Vakoch also made it clear that the first contact with aliens will only happen if we sent messages to many more stars in the future.