Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hello From Earth

'Gliese 581d' is a super-Earth about eight times heavier than our own planet. Gliese 581d and its three known sister planets orbit the low-mass red dwarf star Gliese 581, about 20.3 light-years (194 trillion km) away from us, in the constellation Libra.
Gliese 581d is interesting because it is within the habitable zone of its star (which would be 'Gliese 581' of course), and that means it could have liquid water, and THAT means it could support life as we know it.
But that's not what I'm writing about. I'm writing about the Hello From Earth project. If you are of a certain age you will remember the message we sent beyond the solar system on each of the two Voyager missions. But that message was a product of the controlled, hierarchical society of the 70s. Now we have populist internet anarchy embodied in the Hello From Earth project which will send your message (along with many others) to Gliese 581d. It will take about 20.3 years to get there (that's a 40.6 year round trip if you ask for a receipt signature).
Don't hesitate, the project ends next Sunday, August 23.
I've read the messages. You can do better.

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