Arecibo Radio

On this day 44 years ago scientists sent a message to a cluster of stars 25,000 light years away.

The message was sent from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and contained 1,679 binary digits. These digits could be arranged in such a way to display information about the human race and life on earth. The message was sent to display the power of the Arecibo telescope which was the most powerful in the world at the time.

Cornell University professor of astronomy Donald Campbell said:

“It was a strictly symbolic event, to show that we could do it,”

Campbell worked with the team of researchers who devised the message at Cornell University led by astronomer and astrophysicist Dr Frank Drake.

When received, the message could be arranged in a grid 73 rows by 23 columns to form a pictograph that represents facts about mathematics, human DNA, planet earth, and humans.

The hope is that, in many thousands of years, it may reach another living being.

Since the Arecibo message was sent, the message has travelled just 259 trillion miles – a fraction of its journey to its intended destination, which will take roughly 25,000 years to complete.​

Find out more on Wikipedia –