Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Are alien-hunting scientists going to trigger a planetary invasion?

You’ll soon be able to send messages into outer space — but some experts are worried about who’s listening, and what they’ll do when they hear you.

If you could talk to extraterrestrials, what would you tell them? Start mulling over that question, because you'll soon be able to send your very own message into space; a new initiative called Lone Signal promises to be the first continuous, mass experiment in what's known as METI — the controversial practice of Messaging for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. On Monday, the venture will open a web portal allowing anyone to transmit text and photos to distant stars.

"It's never been the case where anyone on the face of the Earth can commune with the cosmos, and we are giving them that ability," Dr. Jacob Haqq Misra, the project's scientific director and an expert in planetary habitability at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, said at a press preview of the portal earlier this week. "Anyone can transmit messages to strategically targeted stellar systems."

"How do we, as a species, want to be portrayed?"
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