17 ways humanity's first contact with aliens could go down

We're fairly certain that we haven't yet made contact with any extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), but when we do — and yes, let's go with when — it's definitely going to be big news. What is somewhat less definite is what form that news will take: will it be beneficial to humanity, with ETI offering to solve all of our problems, or will ETI turn out to be hostile and eat our entire species for dinner?

A group of scientists from Pennsylvania State University and NASA's Planetary Science division have put a lot of thought into many different scenarios of ETI interactions with humanity, and here are 17 different ways that first contact might (or might not) go.

Paper, via Inhabitat

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