A Bunch of Musicians Just Sent a Musical Message to Our Future Alien Overlords

Sitting just 12.4 light-years away is an Earthlike planet with the fancy name GJ273b which orbits a star officially called, yes, GJ 273 (otherwise known as Luyton’s Star), an otherwise non-descript red dwarf.

As its name implies, it’s one of two confirmed planets flitting about GJ 273 and is classified as a “Super Earth,” meaning it’s somewhat larger than the planet we call home. But given that it’s in the Goldilocks zone, there’s a chance that it could sustain life as we know it.

For three days last month (October 16, 17 and 18), a team of musicians led by the Sónar music festival transmitted a total of eighteen musical pieces, each 10 seconds long, towards GJ 273b in hope of luring aliens into a response. The 180-second message was repeated nine times.  Another fifteen musical messages will be sent in April.

First, let’s hope they’re listening. Second, let’s hope they like music. And third, let’s hope they don’t decide to invade because they subscribe to the Dark Forest Theory. If they do, the answer that returns in 24 years might be “Message received. We’ll be there to invade in about 1400 years.”

Will they be Grays, Reptilians or insectoids? Place your bets.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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