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Drunk scientists sent a message to aliens from the star Altair

The star Altair, also known as Alpha Aquila, is located in the constellation and is situated about 16.8 light years away from Earth. It is similar to the Sun but is at least twice as large and radiates a luminosity twelve times stronger.

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Has Altair harbored planets, particularly those suitable for habitation? This remains uncertain, although not ruled out.

However, it was on August 15, 1983, that a transmission from Earthlings was dispatched at the speed of light, directed toward Altair in the hope of encountering planets.

Two Japanese astronomers from the University of Tokyo, Masaki Morimoto and Hisashi Hirabayashi, confessed to their actions in 2008. Under the influence of whiskey, they accessed the Stanford University telescope and sent a radio message into the cosmos, specifically aimed at Altair.

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As detailed by the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, the message, encoded in binary, contained Earth’s coordinates and extensive information about life on our planet.

This encompassed a visually rendered history of its evolution, depicting its emergence from the oceans onto land, eventually evolving into human beings.

Pictures that were sent to “brothers in mind.”

Subsequent to their inebriated endeavor, the astronomers awaited a response, initially expecting one by 2015. However, no response was received, as is evident now.

Presently, the quest continues with a new generation of astronomers taking up the task earnestly. Led by Shinya Narusawa of Hyogo University, they are directing the 64-meter antenna of the Usuda Deep Space Center radio telescope towards Altair, hoping to obtain a response.

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They’ve determined that the listening should commence on August 22, 2023, signaling a proactive approach.

Certainly, skeptics raise doubts about the endeavor’s success: Altair might lack planets altogether, suitable habitable planets could be absent, or intelligent inhabitants might be insufficient—or simply uninterested—in engaging with us.

Enthusiasts, including the Japanese scientists, maintain an optimistic outlook.

Not all scientists presently believe that extraterrestrial beings, if they do exist, ought to be aware of our existence. Stephen Hawking, while alive, cautioned against this notion, suggesting that advanced aliens might pose a threat. His perspective likened this to the historical example of highly developed Europeans exploiting less advanced indigenous populations.

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While our initial foray in 1983 may have been fueled by alcohol, it remains relevant. What comes of it? Only time will tell. Our best hope is to remain optimistic.

But in the event of no response, that’s alright—we can assume that it has yet to cross our path.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.