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Wanted: Message for extraterrestrial life

Kepler 62f is one of two planets in the Kepler 62 system that are in the star's habitable zone. Image: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech

Kepler 62f is one of two planets in the Kepler 62 system that are in the star's habitable zone. Image: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 6:45 AM -

Got something to say that you think aliens might be interested in hearing? Now's your chance to tell them so.

As part of the 2013 Toronto Science Festival, members of the public can record messages for extraterrestrial beings, post them to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and other media, and submit them to the festival's website.

Event organizers have a whole list of guidelines on how to put together a decent message that our interstellar companions might find useful.

And it won't be idle chatter. Aside from posting the most thought-provoking ones to Facebook and Twitter, Festival organizers will send the best two - one text and video transcript - into space, from Canada's Algonquin Radio Observatory.

The Thoth telescope at the Algonquin Radio Observatory. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

The Thoth telescope at the Algonquin Radio Observatory. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

The target: Two star systems that may host planets suitable for alien life.

The Tau Ceti system is actually only 12 light years away. Radio waves travel about the speed of light, so we might actually get a response within our lifetime.

Kepler 62, on the other hand, is 1,200 light years away, so don't hold your breath for a timely response. But that system actually has five known planets - two of them in the habitable zone - so there might actually be someone listening.

Learn more about the contest here, and hurry up and send in your message: The contest closes Wednesday.

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