Australians ‘Twitter’ to Outer Space

Cosmos Media Press Release | 28 August 2009


Almost than 26,00 messages from 199 countries will be transmitted to Gliese 581d

Stage fright! What do you say in an intergalactic message? Hello? Peace? What’s the weather like? Know that we’re here, we’re waiting. Hear from you soon. Ally =]”

Message from 15-year-old Australian girl


WITH THESE final words by Alexandra Lynch, a Brisbane schoolgirl, goodwill messages collected from around the world as part of the website

HELLO FROM EARTH will today be sent into space.


A total of 25,880 messages were collected, representing people from across 199 countries, an enormous show of support from around the world for this National Science Week initiative.


Today at midday, thanks to the support of NASA and the CSIRO, all of the messages collected over the past two weeks will be transmitted from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla, destined to reach the nearest Earth-like planet outside our solar system that has the potential to support life, Gliese 581d.


Among the messages:

  • Yidumduma Bill Harney, an Aboriginal astronomer of the Wardaman people, near Katherine: “Yidigunmardin nuruku yajingewa wuremulu jandange. Our dream, we’re telling to them young kids. We’re talking all this dream for the future.”

  • Tamasin of Richmond: “If you come to Earth look into: music, the beach, ice cream, hugs, family, love, dancing, cheese, trampolines, friendship, books and dreams. Just for a start.”

  • Class 4M at Castle Cove Public School: “We come in peace. If you are out there, please respond. We want to be friends. We are all different and we can’t wait to meet you! From the children of Earth.”

  • Ricci from Dapto: “Cute single Earthling seeking tall, dark and handsome Gliesian. No scary night time abductions please. I’m happy to meet in a nice park or field.”

  • Benny of Melbourne: “Hi guys – have you got my missing socks? They keep vanishing mysteriously. If you could return them, that’d be great. :)”

  • Petra Evans from Manly in Sydney: “G’day, I am from Australia, planet Earth where the water is warm the sun shines and the people are friendly and welcoming. I hope my children will meet you.”

Spokesperson for the HELLO FROM EARTH project and editor of the Australian science magazine COSMOS, Wilson da Silva, said the project had been an extraordinary success.


“We’ve had messages from Afghanistan to Antarctica, from Morocco to Macau. More than 1,000 newspapers, in scores of languages, have reported this National Science Week initiative and there were more than 254,000 visitors to the site,” said Mr da Silva. “More than 9,000 blogs around the world have covered it and there’s been thousands on tweets in French, Russian, Indonesian and any other language you can image.”

“More than 9,000 blogs around the world have covered it and there’s been thousands on tweets in French, Russian, Indonesian and any other language you can image.”

The last message was submitted by Alexandra Lynch, a Year 10 student at Stuartholme, a secondary school for girls in Brisbane. She’s a big fan of science – electing to study physics and chemistry in Years 11 and 12 – and hopes to one day become an industrial chemist or a research scientist in nanotechnology or bio-medicine.


Artist impression of planet Gliese 581d

“Who better to send the last message to the stars than the next generation of scientist, and someone who will around to see what kind of response we may get back,” added Mr da Silva.


Director of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, Dr Miriam Baltuck, explained how the messages will reach the planet Gliese 581d. “Once the final messages were received on Monday afternoon, they were converted by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California into binary code in preparation for transmission at midday on Friday, when timing was perfect to get a transmission out to Gliese 581d.

“We will be transmitting the message at a power level and frequency that will be obvious to anyone who might be listening.”

“We will be transmitting the message at a power level and frequency that will be obvious to anyone who might be listening,” said Dr Baltuck. “We’ll be sending the signal toward where the Gliese581 solar system will be in 20.3 light years, as it will take that long for the message to travel that distance between our two planetary systems.”


Artist's impression o the Gliese 581 solar system

The HELLO FROM EARTH site is a National Science Week initiative of COSMOS magazine and has been developed with the support of NASA, the CSIRO and Senator Kim Carr, the Minister for Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.


National Science Week is Australia’s largest national festival. Now in its 12th year, the event celebrates the nation’s scientific achievements, creates awareness of the importance of science and encourages students to pursue a career in science. National Science Week is proudly supported by the Australian Government and partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, and the ABC.


SOME OF THE OTHER TOP MESSAGES:

  • Tommy, Adelaide: “Smile :) Humans are naive and fragile. We are not evolved to understand everything. We are children in a vast and mysterious universe.”

  • Katelyn Tepper, Horsham: “Hey I’m Katelyn. I just want to know what’s with all the abductions? If you need a volunteer, please take my brothers! Take your pick. I thank you in advance.”

  • Silvio Zarb, Melbourne: “All our petty disputes, disagreements and wars fade into insignificance when we consider our tiny world’s place in the cosmos.”

  • Sergio Camalich, Hermosillo, Mexico: “What do you see when you look up into the sky? Do you feel small and lonely, just like us? From now on, I can assure you one thing: you are not alone. Be happy.”

  • Patty, Melbourne: “What I’ve learnt: believe in yourself, believe in others, keep confidences, that family matters, you get what you give, dare to dream and don’t forget to laugh.”

  • Deijah, Tauranga, New Zealand: “Hopefully one day you will come to planet Earth, to discover what we call home. Beaches, blue water, blues skies. You live and learn with every step you take.”

  • Fred Mason, Roberts Creek: “Hi there: Sorry about The Outer Limits; hope you enjoyed I Love Lucy. Have you got all our missing socks? Love, Earth.”

  • Jeff N, Sydney: “‘We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars...’ – Oscar Wilde”

  • Daniel Edmonds, Melbourne: “You are cordially invited to an Interplanetary BBQ. 6.00pm, 4th October, 2452 at my place BYO Meat and Beer. RSVP: Year 2100 Cheers.”

  • Paul Cotter, Batemans Bay: “Hello, peace be with you, I hope one day that my children will be able to play and be friends with your children. Until we meet! Take care.”

  • Penny Sackett, Chief Scientist for Australia, Canberra: “Our observations indicate that your planetary system is a low-mass star orbited by at least four planets, can you confirm?

  • Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Canberra: “Hello from Australia on the planet we call Earth. These messages express our people’s dreams for the future. We want to share those dreams with you.”


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