Today is the 40-year anniversary of the message sent from the Arecibo Observatory (National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center) in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The project was led by Cornell University astronomers Frank Drake and Carl Sagan (whose birthday would have been earlier this month, November 9). The message—which was written by Drake and lasted less than three minutes—consisted of 1,679 binary digits, approximately 210 bytes, transmitted at a frequency of 2,380 MHz and modulated by shifting the frequency by 10 Hz, with a power of 1,000 kW. The “ones” and “zeros” were transmitted by frequency shifting at the rate of 10 bits per second.
BBC Space correspondent Jonathan Amos interviews Dr. Carolyn Porco, who was a graduate student at the time. Check out the program in the link below to find out about the content of the Arecibo Message.
Arecibo Message Anniversary
40 years ago, on 16 Nov 1974, a message designed to inform intelligent alien civilisations about human existence was beamed into space. Whilst Frank Drake’s binary picture message was primarily put together to show the capabilities of the upgraded Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, it has inspired interest and enthusiasm around the world. Veteran of subsequent space message projects Dr. Carolyn Porco joins Adam to talk about how space science has progressed in the interim decades, and what these ventures mean to humankind.
For full article and radio program, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04nvf5g