NASA want to send nudes to space
Aliens have urges too…
words Eve Walker
Researchers from various institutions, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have published a new proposal in Arxiv for making contact with aliens, titled ‘A Beacon in the Galaxy’ (BITG).
The highlight? Entice extraterrestrial beings in the Milky Way to communicate with us by seducing them with pixelated drawings of naked humans, among other things.
Yep, you read that right. While NASA sending nudes to aliens might sound like smutty Star Wars fan fiction at first, scientists are adamant that aliens would be naturally curious about the human form, just as we are of theirs.
While Earth is currently the only planet we know that has life, naturally the subject of possible life elsewhere is something we all want to know more about. From recent speculation of a photo seemingly showing an ‘alien doorway’ on Mars, to NASA releasing a spooky audio recording of a black hole, the mysteries of the universe remain at a constant source of wonder. The BITG proposal confirms that “even before the first exoplanet discovery was confirmed in 1995, attempts at listening for signals of extraterrestrial intelligent (ETI) origin, as well as sending signals of our own, were well underway.”
The BITG proposal also won't be the first time that we’ve attempted to make contact with possible life outside of earth. From the Arecibo message, an interstellar radio message sent to globular star cluster M13 in 1974, to the 2021 Lucy Mission that sent images and sounds summing up human culture on a journey from Earth to the Trojans, including a poem by inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, lyrics and quotes from the Beatles and a fossil belonging to the ancient human ancestor that the mission is named after. The BITG also surprisingly won’t be the first attempt in communicating with nudes. In 1972, researchers launched the Pioneer 10 space probe, containing a small gold plaque with an illustration of a naked man and woman, along with other messaging.
Among concepts that may be of interest to ETI such as mathematics and physics, it is the page in the new proposal with images of two nude human figures that “can easily be considered one of the most important parts of the message,” the scientists write. “Though the concept of mathematics in human terms is potentially unrecognisable to ETI, binary is likely universal across all intelligence,” the researchers said. In other words, the message will be coded in the binary language of zeroes and ones used in computing systems.
The messaging in BITG also includes a time and location stamp, visual representations of the DNA double-helix structure and a hydrogen atom, mathematical operations, an illustration of the solar system, a map of the earth, and, lest we forget the star of the show: the nude.