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2008-05-22
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No Alien Life in Altair

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When people think of interstellar communications, often thoughts lean towards a professional, scientific message to our extra-terrestrial neighbors. Perhaps a carefully crafted radio transmission agreed upon multi-nationally? Perhaps a physical object akin to the Golden Record attached to the Voyager spacecraft? While all that may be well and noble, one transmission was made in 1983 by a pair of drunken Japanese astronomers, Hisashi Hirabayashi and Masaki Morimoto. Under the influence, the astronomers transmitted a message to the Altair system simply because it’s close proximity would allow a "quick" response if alien life existed there. Assuming an immediate turnaround upon reception, the aliens could respond with a similarly drunken "cheers" that would arrive on Earth in 2015. Or they might decide Earth’s best and brightest are drunks and that we are easy to colonize …


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