GOOGLE have celebrated the first interstellar message sent by humans to find alien life with a doodle today.
Let’s take a look at the historic transmission.
What was the Arecibo message?
Forty-four years ago, a group of scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in the rainforests of Puerto Rico blasted a three-minute radio message into space.
This was the first ever attempt to communicate with intelligent life on another planet.
The message, consisting of 1,679 binary digits, was aimed at the M-13 cluster of stars using Arecibo’s powerful megawatt transmitter which has a 305 metre antenna.
Professor Donald Campbell, who was a research associate at the Arecibo Observatory at the time, said: “It was strictly a symbolic event, to show that we could do it.”
The message was developed by academics from Cornell University led by Dr Frank Drake – the legendary astronomer known for devising the Drake Equation which estimates the number of planets which could host alien life in our galaxy.
Speaking about the Arecibo message Dr Drake said: “What could we do that would be spectacular? We could send a message.”
Has the message reached its destination?
The M-13 star system is 25,000 light years away from our planet meaning the message will arrive at its destination in roughly 25,000 years.
Google said: “In the 44 years since it was first transmitted, the message has travelled only 259 trillion miles, only a tiny fraction of the 146,965,638,531,210,240 or so miles to its final destination.”
What is a Google Doodle?
In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to show that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.
The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.
In that same year, a turkey was added to Thanksgiving and two pumpkins appeared as the ‘o’s for Halloween the following year.
Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.
And of course there was a whole series for the football World Cup in Russia.
Earlier in the year, the search giant celebrated the Paralympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang with an animated design celebrating each of the sports the winter Paralympians competed in.
Who started Google?
Before it became the company that has defined the era of the internet, Google evolved out of an academic project started by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
In 1995, the then PhD students at Stanford University were interested in the mathematical properties of the world wide web and made it the focus of their major academic paper.
The following year they built an early internet search engine at google.stanford.edu and on September 4, 1998, they launched the service we now take for granted almost every day.
There’s a lot you would know about the company that has come to dominate internet search, digital advertising, tech software and hardware, but also a lot you probably don’t.
For example, to maintain Google’s vast lawns at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, the company hires hungry goats.
In 2009, the company posted a blog post detailing how it employed a herd of about 200 goats to mow the grass around its campus.
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