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Artist Hopes to Communicate With Aliens by Beaming GIF Into Space

by Brandon Russell | June 17, 2013June 17, 2013 11:30 pm PDT


Scientists are eager to determine whether we’re alone in the universe. Evidence certainly suggests a planet such as Mars once supported microbial life, and many other findings point to plenty of Earth-like planets filling the cosmos. So if there are extraterrestrial beings out there, making contact is a priority. That’s why have initiatives such as the Long Signal METI (Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) experiment, which wants to send out a GIF (below), of all things, out into space.

Spearheaded by conceptual artist Kim Asendorf, the GIF is being sent toward Gliese 526, a constellation around 17.6 light-years away. The animation itself is odd and confusing and pretty boring; it’s what will represent humanity should E.T. or some other alien intercept the GIF. Maybe I just don’t “get” what Asendorf is attempting to communicate. At least send up a GIF of Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”

Asendorf chose the constellation of stars because it’s considered a potentially habitable solar system. The signal isn’t expected to arrive until 2031, giving us plenty of time to plan a welcoming party for whatever alien race decides we’re interesting enough to come visit.



Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...