Take the 2-minute tour ×
Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The Arecibo Message was aimed at the globular star cluster M13, but as far as I read, M13 will move out of the original position and thus not be able to receive it. So, who or what will be able to receive the message?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

The Arecibo Message was not broadcast with the aim that it would intercept with a notable astronomical object. Neither do we realistically expect that anyone will ever listen to the Voyager Golden Records.

Such symbolic gestures are simply vectors for public relations and education. We send these "time capsules" into space because we can, as a showcase of our technological achievements, and as a token of hope.

"As the choice of frequency, duration of message, and distance of the target clearly shows, the Arecibo message is very unlikely to produce interstellar discourse in the foreseeable future. Rather, it was intended as a concrete demonstration that terrestrial radio astronomy has now reached a level of advance entirely adequate for interstellar radio communication over immense distances."

-- NAIC staff (1975), http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1975Icar...26..462


"The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet."

-- Carl Sagan

share|improve this answer
2  
Some may not know this information, the additions very nicely add to your answer (+1) –  user8 Oct 18 '13 at 8:40
2  
@Moriarty All statements are claims. Some claims are backed with facts. UV-D just wanted you to provide the reasoning behind your claim for those who may not be aware. –  called2voyage Oct 18 '13 at 12:43

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.