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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Now We Need To Send A Message Towards Proxima Centauri!

An artist's concept of the Gliese 581 star system.

Seven Light-Years... That’s how far the Hello From Earth message has traveled since being transmitted from a giant NASA antenna in Australia to the exoplanet Gliese 581d (whose existence was in doubt until March of last year) more than half a decade ago today. As of 7 PM California time tonight (12 PM Sydney time on Sunday, August 28), the radio signal containing 25,878 goodwill text messages—including one by me—will have ventured across approximately 41.1 trillion miles (66.2 trillion kilometers) of deep space...which, as stated at the very start of this Blog entry, equals a distance of seven light-years. The signal, despite traveling 186,000 miles per second (or 671 million miles per hour, or um, 1 billion kilometers per hour), will still take 13 years to reach the Gliese 581 star system. Hopefully we'll be on our way to sending people to (orbit) Mars by then.

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