Japanese astronomers are eagerly awaiting a reply from aliens after sending a message into space 40 years ago.
The 40-year-old message: On Aug. 15, 1983, astronomers Masaki Morimoto and Hisashi Hirabayashi at Stanford University sent a message into space as part of a project celebrating the 15th anniversary of the weekly comic anthology Shonen Jump.
The message, which contained 13 drawings depicting the history of life on Earth and the structure of our DNA, was transcribed into radio waves and transmitted toward a star called Altair with the intention of receiving a reply. Altair is the 12th brightest star in the night sky and is situated 16.7 light years away from Earth.
About the astronomers: Morimoto, who died in 2010 at the age of 78, was a Japanese pioneer in the field known as the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He worked at the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo and was described as “an inspiration for the younger generations entering the newly born radio astronomy community in Japan” by the International Astronomical Union.
Hirabayashi, 80, is currently an emeritus professor at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He has published several books on the possibilities of intelligent life in the universe.
Waiting for a reply: Professor Shinya Narusawa at the University of Hyogo, who is leading a team to search for unusual radio signals, started listening for a reply on Tuesday as the lunar calendar date coincides with Japan’s Tanabata star festival.
Narusawa deployed an antenna 64 meters (approximately 210 feet) in diameter in Saku, Nagano prefecture, to observe radio signals in response to the 40-year-old message: “Hello, is anybody there?”
Scientists are reportedly prepared to wait longer as no answers were found on Tuesday.
“A large number of exoplanets have been detected since the 1990s,” Narusawa told The Asahi Shimbun. “Altair may have a planet whose environment can sustain life.”
Last month, former Air Force officer and intelligence official David Grusch testified to Congress that the U.S. government has captured UFOs and is withholding the information from the public.
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