2030 marks the year where alien life forms will receive a transmission from Earth, a stream of data consisting of a variety of short musical clips from 33 of the world’s top electronic artists.
Thanks to the organisers of Spanish music festival Sónar, 3 days were spent pointing a 32m wide European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) radio antenna towards outer space.
Astronomers from METI (Messages to Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the Institute of Space Studies of Cataloniar (IEEC) collaborated with the Sónar team to beam short music clips to a potentially habitable planet known as GJ 273b.
The cohort included Autechre, Holly Herndon, Jean-Michel Jarre, Modeselektor, Matmos, Kode9 and Laurel Halo, each artist having to compose a special 10 second piece of music for the transmission at an extremely low sound quality.
The clips were sent out on October 16, 17 and 18 through bursts of signals to a red dwarf star located 12.4 light years away, at a transmission rate of 500 bits per second.
With the plan of shooting 15 more tracks to the planet again in April 2018, the project has been deemed a collaboration of art and science, a reflective experiment open to both humans and alien life forms. The experiment has been named Sónar Calling.
According to president of the not-for-profit METI, Douglas Vakoch, Sónar Calling is a great way to educate the public about interstellar communication and to find out whether or not aliens actually exist. Vakoch believes aliens already know we are here and watching us, and that there is no risk of alien invasion as a result of the transmission (for all those who are terrified).
To listen to the 10 second tracks from each of the artists that were transmitted, click here.