“txt me to ur leader!”

Well, it’s too late now. For good or ill, the Hello from Earth project has broadcast 25,880 “goodwill messages” to an exo-planet 20.3 light years away. And they did pick the better candidate, Gliese 581d, not 581b as I had initially thought. Oh, and messages were moderated. Even so, a suitably sceptical reader of the Professor replies – “Aliens, omg ur my new bffs! u got life on ur world? txt me to ur leader! Yeah, THAT’ll advance interstellar society”. Heh. But among the messages which are now all online, I did spot one intelligent suggestion, from Sam in Adelaide – “2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71 73 79 83 89 97 101”.

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  • Alternatively, we could have transmitted the complete works of JS Bach: but as Carl Sagan said, “That would be boasting.”

  • PB loves GA TID

    Did anyone called Grissly, Belfast/Donegal leave a message to outer space, Pete?

  • Pete Baker


    Carl was, of course, correct. That would be boasting.

    But, perhaps, just a few bars?

  • Dewi

    Should not that sequence start with 1 Pete?

  • Dewi

    Shows how long ago I went to school – I swear 1 was considered prime them. Ah well.

  • Big Maggie

    “2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71 73 79 83 89 97 101”

    Amid a plethora of assumptions is it not an assumption too far that the little green fellers will make sense of Arabic numerals?

    I’d have gone for Roman numerals. At least you’d have a chance of being understood. The I, II and III are self-explanatory and a V, X, D and M wouldn’t be too hard to decipher within a mathematical context.

  • Pete Baker

    There are a number of assumptions being made, Maggie.

    But, with the messages being transmitted at a particular radio frequency in binary code, prime numbers would still be an intelligent suggestion.

    It’s certainly the only intelligent suggestion I could find.

    Not that it’s necessarily an original suggestion by Sam in Adelaide…