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Scientists send message to nearby planets hoping for a response

It's the world's first interstellar tourism campaign.
  • Recent UFO revelations and advances in deep space imaging have fueled the belief that we humans are not alone in the universe
  • VisitLEX and a team of Lexington scientists and scholars used an infrared laser to beam a coded invitation toward potential extraterrestrial travelers in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system 40 light years away
  • The message was sent from the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky

Published on Jan 11, 2024 at 3:13PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jan 11, 2024 at 8:52PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis
Scientists send message to nearby planets hoping for a response

Greetings, aliens! Lexington in Kentucky would be a great place to spend your next deep-space vacation.

This was the message a group of Kentucky scientists, linguists and scholars recently beamed to the TRAPPIST-1 system, located 40 light-years away from Earth.

According to the group behind the effort, VisitLEX, this is the first interstellar tourism campaign.

READ MORE! How astronauts come back from space as ‘different people’ has been explained

It wasn’t that long ago that Earth received a strange video from 19 million miles away.

And then there was an extremely powerful cosmic ray that hit Earth, which no one knows where it came from.

This is the first time aliens have been urged to visit Lexington, though.

The playful campaign with sci-flavor was devised by VisitLEX’s tourism team at the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau who partners with the Cornett ad agency.

A modified infrared laser was used to deliver the specially-coded message, which was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

Details of the interstellar tourism campaign were revealed in a VisitLEX press release:

“When the message reaches its destination in 2063, TRAPPIST-1 inhabitants will find a coded bitmap image with clues as to its origin and intent of the transmission.

“They’ll also see bucolic photos of the Horse Capital of the World, noting the wide-open spaces perfect for landing a spacecraft.

“They’ll learn why Lexington has the best food, bourbon and music on Earth — getting a taste via an audio recording from legendary blues musician Tee Dee Young.”

If aliens do receive the message and decide to pay Lexington a visit, they’ll have to travel 378 trillion kilometers (235 trillion miles) to get there.

Sounds like one heck of a trip, but who knows how fast their craft can travel?

“We are targeting the TRAPPIST-1 system because we might actually get an answer in somebody’s lifetime if there’s somebody there watching,” said Robert Lodder, astrobiologist and SETO (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) scientist.

“But the reason scientists have been interested in it lately is because of the large number of planets it has in what is considered to be the habitable zone.

“So, there could be life there. Why not send a signal and see if they answer?”

Scientists sent the message last month from Lexington’s Kentucky Horse park museum and event center, during a festive evening ceremony that drew a sign-waving crowd.

“The bitmap image is the key to it all. We included imagery representing the elements of life, our iconic Lexington rolling hills and the molecular structure for water, bourbon and even dopamine … because Lexington is fun!” said linguistics expert, Andrew Bird.

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