If you were going to speak with an alien race for the first time, what would you want to say? Something about our art or history? Or something about Kim Kardashian's butt or those loveable LOL cats? Thanks to the democracy of the Internet it could be any of the above topics or more — it's 140 characters or less — in a plan to beam tweets to a recently discovered planet that could host life.
On Sept. 21, Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern — the team behind Tweets In Space — will be beaming tweets carrying the hashtag #tweetsinspace to planet GJ667Cc, approximately 22 light years away. The tweets will be beamed into space via a high-powered radio transmitter during an event at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum; both tweets taken live at the event and via the Internet will be broadcast.
This means just about any tweet can make it to our alien friends if they are listening. And that's just how the guys want it. Scott Kildall told the New York Daily News, "We look at it from the standpoint of democratizing deep space transmissions."
As for the transmission coming via Twitter instead of say, a radio, Kildall also noted to the Daily News, "We thought it would be worthwhile to show the sea change in how information is broadcast in our culture."
That seems like a pretty fair point given that the Library of Congress is recording all our tweets (for better or worse). Still, you can't help but wonder what the UN's official alien ambassador has to say about unedited tweets representing mankind.
As you may have guessed there is a price tag associated with this experiment. In addition to engaging with members of the government and the science community, the guys have raised approximately a $1,600 towards the $8,500 needed to get the tweets off the ground via the fundraising site rockethub.com. (Seems appropriate).
Kildall and Stern estimate this amount will be able to send our tweets about five light years into space. They hope this is far enough for any alien life that may be dwelling on GJ667Cc to tune into if their technology is in any way similar to ours.
For all of you who are worried about a pile of uncensored tweets hitting the ears of any aliens I wouldn't worry too much. The likelihood is whatever they'd hear on Twitter would pale in comparison to what they'd see if they actually came here — people weighing dog poop, wearing bags on their heads and more… Well, you get the drift.