Japanese astronomers waiting for message from aliens TODAY after sending message in 1983

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Scientists will scan the skies at 2pm in the hope of receiving the extra terrestrial response

Astronomers are hoping to receive a reply from a message beamed into space 40 years ago. 

Japanese astronomers Masaki Morimoto and Hisashi Hirabayashi used a telescope at Standford University to send a message to space in 1983, containing 13 drawings of our solar system, the history of life on Earth and the structure of our DNA. 

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Astronomers from the University of Hyogo predict that today (22 August) is the earliest point at which a response could arrive from anyone living near the Altair star.

The star is situated just 16.7 lights years away, and is the 12th brightest star in the night sky.

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The team at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA), led by Shinya Narusawa, will scan the skies for a reply at 2pm BST today.

However, the chances are slim and the star does not appear to have any planets. There will only be an hour to hear the message, and the team will use an antenna 64 meters in diameter in Saku, Nagano Prefecture. 

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They will listen for messages coming from the star today (22 August). This date was chosen because of its significance in Japan’s Tanabata star festival, which symbolically celebrates the meeting of two deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, the latter of which is represented by Altair.

Narusawa is hopeful that aliens are out there somewhere and that the message could have really been sent towards alien life around the distant star.

“A large number of exoplanets have been detected since the 1990s,” he told Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun. “Altair may have a planet whose environment can sustain life.”

The original message was sent on 15 August, 1983, as part of a collaboration with a Japanese weekly comic anthology.

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However, the attempt to contact aliens never seemed entirely serious. According to Gizmodo in 2008, when the email was unearthed, Hirabayashi admitted that the pair had been drunk when they came up with the idea of sending the message.

“I believe in aliens, but they are very difficult to find,” he said then. He also noted that he had received an array of messages from schoolchildren about the message, which had made sending it worth it.

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