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Scientists seek alien messaging protocol

Cover of the Space Policy journal
Cover of the Space Policy journal
Some U.S. scientists claim that current attempts at communicating with extraterrestrial life are either disorganized or too cryptic for aliens to decode. The claim is made by postgraduate astrophysicists in Space Policy, an international, interdisciplinary journal, where the suggestion is made to develop a protocol for sending messages to extraterrestrials.

Establishing an extraterrestrial communication protocol would improve the likelihood of messages being understood by alien lifeforms, say postgraduate astrophysicists Dimitra Atri, Julia DeMarines and Jacob Haqq-Misra. They state in their Space Policy paper, “By carefully constructing a framework by which to write and send messages, we will optimize the quality of messages as they are broadcast and increase the probability that we are understood.”

The authors suggest that such a protocol should include “constraints and guidelines for signal encoding, message length, [and] information content.” Additionally, they say a transmission strategy should be clearly laid out in this protocol, and they suggest “a simple physical or mathematical language with the signal repeated regularly to avoid being overlooked as noise.”

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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