NASA/JPL-Caltech

Will EDM Help Make First Contact? Scientists Send Songs Into Space to Find Out

How do you think we’ll reach alien life?

Imagine waking up one morning to groundbreaking news; we’ve made contact with aliens. Intelligent beings from beyond the stars have found us, and they wanna talk. They travel light-years to see us. Not because of how advanced we are, but instead because of our music. They arrive at our home planet because they want to party.

Sonar Music Festival, in partnership with the Catalonia Institute of Space Studies and METI International, recently launched 35 ten second long EDM songs into space. They’re hoping that the songs reach life somewhere near the red dwarf GJ 237, or Luyten’s Star, and show them the universal language of music. To survive the long journey through space, they’re put into a binary for intelligent aliens to decode!

Danielle Futselaar/METI

They’re choosing this star because a planet called Luyten’s Star b is in it’s habitable zone. That means it’s the right distance from it’s star to support life! Due to the amount of time it takes to travel through space, the songs won’t reach the planet until 2030. We likely won’t hear back from them until 2042 either. Other information about math and science is in the message to show off cool stuff humans discovered. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve tried reaching aliens.

Scientists have been trying to beam messages to aliens for decades now

Just last November scientists sent a message to the very same star hoping to contact alien life. Beamed from an antenna in Norway they sent information on clocks and timekeeping, counting, geometry, and other ideas we’ve discovered. The hope is to find intelligent beings with a similar understanding of these ideas. They admit the outcome is unlikely, but they may hear back from aliens in about 25 years!

Before that, the Arecibo message was sent out in 1974. It was a radio transmission sending data about our solar system, numbers 1-10, what DNA looks like, images of an average man and woman, and other flexes of human brain power. It estimates about 25,000 years to reach it’s destination and for us to hear back from anything, so some perceive it as more of a technology achievement than a message.

If anyone is there to answer us, do we really want to hear from them?

Before he passed away, Dr. Stephen Hawking was a vocal opponent of contacting aliens. He mentioned before that aliens advanced enough to find us could be hostile to humanity. According to him, such a society would be interstellar nomads with a possible hunger for colonizing other planets.

“Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well,” he said in a 2016 documentary Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places. There isn’t scientific consensus around this, however, many scientists say radio transmissions been emitting for a long time from our planet.

Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer of the SETI institute, wrote an editorial disputing Dr. Hawking. He argues that the broadcasts we’ve been sending for so long don’t mean we should be afraid of sending any new messages. Whatever the case may be, our most interstellar ambassadors have a musical treat for our alien cousins that’s sure to warrant a friendly response to our curiosity.

What do you think of the message? What songs do you think were in the 35 to space? If you could show aliens any songs, what would it be? Let us know in the comments!