A message has arrived from Mars and now we have to decipher it
Mars calling to Earth, an “alien message” has been sent from the Red Planet and has reached humans on our planet. What is it telling us? Cosmos and UFO enthusiasts or even just the most curious can challenge themselves to decipher it. The signal was shared online and on social media by Seti (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). How would we react if we were to receive a message that came to us from other parts of the Cosmos? How many times has it happened to think of a question of this type, now the event has somehow occurred and we can try to give an answer to the question. But what is hidden behind this message is already very interesting in itself.
The race to decode the message from Mars that arrived on Earth has started: the data, collected by the three radio telescopes, has already been processed and made available online on the "A Sign in Space" project website. More than 1,300 people from all over the world (including Italy) are trying their hand at this experiment on the border between science, art and science fiction. This was announced by the National Institute for Astrophysics, which created it from an idea by the artist Daniela de Paulis in collaboration with the European Space Agency, the Seti Institute and the Green Bank Observatory. The signal, which simulates a message sent by an extraterrestrial civilization, was transmitted via radio waves by the Trace Gas Orbiter probe of the ExoMars mission, in orbit around Mars.
The systematic search for extra-terrestrial signals in the cosmos was born between the 60s and 70s thanks to the SETI program, acronym of Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Despite continuous years of research, unfortunately we have not yet been able to pick up signals from non-natural extra-terrestrial sources. The question therefore arises whether there is no one out there or if we simply are not able to recognize and decode a message sent by another civilization in the cosmos.
Mars is located about 290 million kilometers from Earth, so the signal, which travels at the speed of light, took about 16 minutes to cover that distance. In Italy, the signal was received by the INAF radio telescope of Medicina, in the province of Bologna, while the other two radio telescopes used are located in the United States and are the Allen Telescope Array of the SETI Institute, in California, and the Green Bank Observatory, in West Virginia.
On the project website, it is possible both to watch the live streaming of the reception and to access all the tools that allow the public, as well as specialists and experts from all fields, to decode and interpret the message. As the project leaders explain, this initiative represents a unique opportunity to concretely prepare ourselves for how to decipher and interpret an extra-terrestrial signal, an event that would profoundly upset and transform humanity. Only through the interdisciplinary collaboration between many individuals, will it be possible to complete the mission, for this reason the project invites everyone to send scientific data, thoughts, drafts, drawings and ideas to decode the signal and culturally interpret the message. We can't wait to find out its contents, and you?

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