Thursday, May 22, 2014

Markings Across The Globe "Maybe From Aliens" Says NASA

"For all intents and purposes, they might have been made by aliens"

Ancient rock carvings found across the globe were made by human civilisations, long ago, right?
Well...perhaps not. No less an authority than NASA have suggested they could have been made by aliens, as a test. The space agency has released a new book (WHICH YOU CAN READ IN FULL HERE) on the subject of alien communications, and as you'd hope it tackles some of the more profound and complicated issues facing humanity.

The title of this tome is 'Archaeology, Anthropology And Interstellar Communications' and asks just how we would go about communicating with a civilisation from another planet.

Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, the first few chapters give an overview of "search for extraterrestrial intelligence" (SETI), the collective name given to the various projects tasked with this endeavour.

It soon moves on to more precise topics, each by a different author.

The intro to the book states:
"The chapters in this volume combine incisive critique with hope that there is a response to the skepticism behind these critiques. Addressing a field that has been dominated by astronomers, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists, the contributors to this collection raise questions that may have been overlooked by physical scientists about the ease of establishing meaningful communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence.

"These scholars are grappling with some of the enormous challenges that will face humanity if an information-rich signal emanating from another world is detected. By drawing on issues at the core of contemporary archaeology and anthropology, we can be much better prepared for contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, should that day ever come."

It all sounds pretty complex but Jesus Diaz over as Sploid assures us its "quite accessible".

He adds: "I have been going through it and it is truly fascinating stuff."

The section relating to the markings, however, isn't quite as dramatic as you might think - which is why the pronouncement has not made international headlines around the world. Nasa isn't saying the markings were made by aliens, but that it might be useful to assume they are in order to reframe the way we go about looking for signals from other worlds, and how we attempt to make contact.

The relevant section reads:
"Consider again, therefore, the desirability of establishing symbolic/linguistic communication with ETI [Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence]. It is helpful to review some parallels from human existence that pose problems for us today. One of these is "rock art," which consists of patterns or shapes cut into rock many thousands of years ago. Such ancient stone carvings can be found in many countries [...]

We can say little, if anything, about what these patterns [above] signify, why they were cut into rocks, or who created them. For all intents and purposes, they might have been made by aliens."

NASA'S Previous Attempts to Communicate With Aliens:

The Pioneer Plaque
This is the Pioneer Plaque, one of two cosmic dog-tags attached to the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, the first human-made matter to leave the solar system.  Carl Sagan and his wife Linda, along with astronomer Frank Drake, designed the plaque. It contains a map of the solar system with the path of the spacecraft, as well as images of a man and a woman, which were criticized for their nudity when the plaques were created.


The Golden Records

The Golden Records, sent out with the Voyager I and II spacecraft, contain diagrams representing basic scientific concepts, but may be most notable for their inclusion of music, ranging from Chinese musician Guan Pinghu to early rocker Chuck Berry.  The records will remain on the interstellar probes for their multi-millennial mission, passing relatively close to a star in about 40,000 years. If extraterrestrials can manage find these needles in the galactic haystack, they'd almost certainly be advanced enough to find us.


The first Cosmic Call
The first Cosmic Call message, sent out from a radio telescope in Ukraine, included a signal with this information. It's a sort of numerical dictionary, which matches up binary representations of numbers with the symbols that will be used to represent them in the rest of the message. Subsequent parts of the message go on to define mathematical operations and fundamental scientific facts. 

Canadian physicists Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumas led the efforts to send the Cosmic Call, which was sent alongside a transmission of the Arecibo message.


The Teen-Age Message
The Teen-Age Message, composed in part by teens from across Russia, was broadcast in August and September 2001. In addition to bilingual greetings in Russian and English, the broadcast includes the "1st Theremin Concert for Aliens," a series of famous melodies played on the electronic instrument. The image above contains several glyphs representing various aspects of humanity and life on planet earth.


The Beatles Transmission 


In 2008, NASA transmitted the Beatles' 'Across The Universe' in the direction of the North Star, Polaris, located 431 light years away. The transmission was sent from a station outside Madrid that's part of NASA's international antenna array known as the Deep Space Network. It celebrated the 40th anniversary of the song's recording and the 50th anniversary of NASA's founding. When NASA notified Paul McCartney, the former Beatle told the Administration to "Send my love to the aliens."



Sources:
NASA, huffingtonpost.co.uk, Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumas.

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