Talk:Arecibo message

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Arecibo Reply redirects to this page but there is absolutely no mention of the reply on the page. It's pretty confusing when you're trying to find information on the reply, even if it is a hoax. (talk) 13:46, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Agree. (talk) 20:45, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
An article was deleted in 2008 at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Arecibo reply. The current redirect at Arecibo reply was created in 2011. If you want it deleted then you can nominate it at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion. People searching on "Arecibo reply" might be looking for different information. Arecibo message does contain this of relevance to some people: "Because it will take 25,000 years for the message to reach its intended destination of stars (and an additional 25,000 years for any reply), the Arecibo message was more a demonstration of human technological achievement than a real attempt to enter into a conversation with extraterrestrials." PrimeHunter (talk) 21:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
And the entire quote you gave is completely unrelated to the content in the old Arecibo Reply article - exactly why the redirect is pointless and confusing. Good job. (talk) 20:43, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Jumbled Nonsense[edit]

The information arranged the first way produces jumbled nonsense, but if arranged the second way it forms an image containing information about Earth and the human race.

Does anyone have an example of what it looks like arranges the second way?

I made a small program to rearrange the image just like that. The resulting image can be seen at Image:Arecibo shifted.png. User:Aadnk 19:24, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Even properly decoded. How many humans would be able to understand the message without prople pointing out the details. Even putting aside all the possible other formats it could be decoded into. And looking at the small percentage of humans who could figure it out... how many extraterrestrials would be shaking their head? Naturally making a language free, culture independant message is hard.. but there has to be a better way.. if we get to the point where we send a binary or waveform encoded message that everyone on earth can understand like "duh, of course it means that" then we'd at least be one step closer to having other civilizations understand it as well. But as stands, we need a better message, hehe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:50, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Could we display the image in the actual article, because I don't think a lot of people would guess that they can see the image by clicking the link. --Henrikb4 (talk) 18:01, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree, so I put it in. Many people would probably have thought "jumbled nonsense" was an article. Superm401 - Talk 09:55, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

On this note, a link was recently added to the image in the lead. There must be a more elegant solution than having the jumbled image and an individual link to it in the same article. Chris857 (talk) 03:52, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Further to the above: the article says the message won't reach its target because the target will have moved. Couldn't this have been computed into the actual trajectory of the signal so it really would reach the target? What utter bollocks. Wythy (talk) 12:14, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

message as binary string[edit]

the binary string is too long to fit on one page without scrolling left A LOT more, so I think it should be formatted to fit on one screen without scrolling, and still readable. (talk) 20:34, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


I want information on the so-called "reply" but the page was deleted.

Please tell me where I can find relevant information now that Wikipedia isn't listing it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Try [Google]. (talk) 07:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Here's the article about so-called "Arecibo reply", which was posted on the main page of SETI official website: Is the Latest Crop Circle a Message from E.T? SETI claims that it's a hoax. I think, this information can be added into the article. Nimbie95 (talk) 08:54, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Considering that the message won't arrive for another 25 000 years, the "reply" cannot possibly be anything except a hoax. There quite naturally cannot be a reply to a transmission that hasn't yet arrived. So it's not really notable in the context of the Arecibo message, except possibly that the message is apparently famous enough that people make joke replies to it. But there are few things in the world that people don't joke about. - Alltat (talk) 14:19, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Assuming that it wasn't intercepted before it reached its destination. (talk) 01:33, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

It's a War[edit]

I wanted this too and it's hard to find on the internet. But now I see why. Somebody made a whole page on it complete with references and sources. Then it was just shot down. Deleted. Who cares. Gone, bye.



I will be fully satisfied if that response message is just kept somewhere discretely on the page (say it was probably hoaxers, doesn't matter)

But I tell you what. I've been threatened with being banned just because I want one lousy link somewhere on this page that has everything to do with the arecibo message. And I guess there are forces that wouldn't tolerate that *knowledge* -- just like anything else potentially democratic, wikipedia gets stolen by asshole authoritarian bullshit.

So go on home. Remain stupid. Remember that there's nothing interesting to see in the world. It's all a hoax. Shut up and continue to get dumbed down by your schools. Just fine.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaiaguerrilla (talkcontribs) 00:38, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Are you familiar with Wikipedia's reliable sources guidelines? -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 04:09, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you familiar with the concept of an "encyclopedia"? Even though the reply was a hoax, it's still something that happened in response to the message, so why isn't any reference to it being made in the relevant article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It certainly should be, if it has been described in reliable, independent sources. So far, though, the only source I've seen doesn't appear to have met that criteria. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 12:58, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
A photograph of a this crop circle [1] exists and it has been mentioned at [2] which is the relevant place to propose noting it in that Wikipedia article. Ranting abuse of Wikipedia and schools obtains nothing. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 09:26, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, I think this article should discuss the famous "response". Tempshill (talk) 03:57, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it should, even if it was a hoax.. or not, it happened.. you can't just banned something because it hasn't been scientifically proven. I mean.. God? Ghosts? there's plenty of links and articles about this all around Wikipedia. Cut the Assholeness.-- (talk) 07:54, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
If you have read the responses given here, noone wants to ban something because it isn't scientifically proven. As have been stated several times above these things aren't being added because they have not be described in reliable, independent sources. Please simply find such a source, and present it here, then it could be added. I suggest reading what "reliable, independent sources" means, from that link, before you do so. Chris M. (talk) 20:53, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
after about a year I come back to this discussion. My attitude was very aggressive and baseless, though it was frustrating to see that the arecibo reply could not somehow be linked to the arecibo message, also that someone had created the page long ago and it was deleted. Too bad I couldn't be very adult about it. I do think that something in our world methodically destroys our ability to inform ourselves and prevents humane effort. But whining doesn't fix it. I'll try to earn back some sort of stature and contribute something worthwhile if I get the opportunity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaiaguerrilla (talkcontribs) 02:08, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
You should understand that keeping in balance and remaining sceptical about a need for spirituality, which manifests in some humans more than in others, is something very important. Otherwise you will exhaust yourself by chasing these supposedly worldshaking revelations which are however usually without merit. And I would question that even if a reliable source was to report about some crop circles which were created in response to this message, it would not necessarily justify including it in the article. --lmaxmai (talk) 23:49, 19 August 2016 (UTC)


Great work on the article guys, I remember reading it over a year ago and was totally baffled, but the illustrations and the binary really helped this time, anyone ever considered pushing for GA with this one. Ryan4314 (talk) 09:17, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

It's the 25th anniversary of Earth's first (and only) attempt to phone E.T.[edit]

Uh, excuse me? There were plenty of other messages, the Soviet MIR message for one. This source is bogus. (talk) 05:20, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia displays the title of sources in the reference section: Arecibo message#References. The article text doesn't repeat the claim that it's the only attempt. The source is used for other things. By the way, the source itself has a footnote saying it wasn't the only attempt: PrimeHunter (talk) 12:49, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It didn't when I checked it. (talk) 20:56, 20 January 2011 (UTC) starts: "After issuing this news release we were informed that a new message to extraterrestrials was sent in May of this year". I guess "this year" refers to 1999.*/ shows the footnote was there on March 4, 2000. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:36, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Parts of this text are used in recent paper[edit]

Parts of this text seem to have been used in this publication without acknowledging Wikipedia: (page 5) See also: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC)


Because ... the Arecibo message was more a demonstration of human technological achievement than a real attempt to enter into a conversation with extraterrestrials. ... [1] According to the Cornell News press ... the real purpose of the message was not to make contact, but to demonstrate the capabilities of newly installed equipment. I think we can omit the first part, since the CNP source alone says it all. The CNP article only copy-pastes what is said in the first sentence I quoted. -andy (talk) 21:23, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. The first sentence says what the Arecibo message is not. The second sentence explains what its purpose is. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 08:46, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Arecibo reply[edit]

Arecibo reply and Arecibo Reply should link to Arecibo message — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure but please check this:[edit]

Article says: The numbers from 1 to 10 appear in binary format (the bottom row marks the beginning of each number).

Shouldn't it actually say: The numbers from 1 to 10 appear in binary format (the top row marks the beginning of each number).

Sorry if I'm confused/confusing, just wanted someone more knowledgeable to check that. Wawawemn (talk) 18:04, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

The bottom row of each number listed in the top "block" of the message marks the beginning of that number. It could have been expressed clearer - Alltat (talk) 14:40, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

arecibo message reply![edit]

i think this should be added (talk) 16:10, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Sure, if that video is backed by a reliable source. If not, then no. — (talk) 16:03, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

different distance in different wikis[edit]

  • german wiki, M13 is 22,800 lightyears away
  • engish wiki: 25,000 ly
  • esperanto: 22,800 ly
  • french: 25,000 ly
  • netherlands: 25,000 ly
  • magyan: 25,100 ly
  • italiano: 25,000 ly


Seems for me a grat mess! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

It gets worse. The English M13 page lists the distance as 22.2kly (22,200 ly) AND 25,100 ly, and cites the 25,000 year figure. 25,000 is a reasonable rounding of 22,800 or 25,100, though not of 22,200. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Divad27182 (talkcontribs) 06:15, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Audio version?[edit]

From the Cornell 25th anniversary press release: "We translated the radio-frequency message into a warbling audio tone that was broadcast over speakers at the ceremony." This is intriguing. Can someone reconstruct this? It would be a nice complement to the visual depictions.--Pharos (talk) 16:55, 7 September 2014 (UTC)


I know that Wikipedia is just reporting on this had nothing to do with the message, and that it wasn't meant to be a serious attempt at communication; but this just seems ridiculous.

  1. No one knows how to read this properly (I had to read this whole article and put myself in the right mindframe to actually make sense of it)
  2. Even if they know how to decode, who says that they have the right equipment to receive the message? (Reversely it could be argued that aliens are always trying to communicate with us, but we cant decode their messages)
  3. How would aliens even know what the message is supposed to be? I mean if you have a bunch of data but no real clues as to what the data is for, then no one to anyone that doesnt know what it is, it would appear to be some data dump (think of a corrupted computer file that is just junk data on your computer.
  4. What if aliens dont even have physical senses such as sight or hearing? Then our efforts are futile.
  5. How would aliens even be aware of any sort of transmission?
  6. Why on earth would an alien care about our DNA?

Adlhgeo1990 (talk) 09:10, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Here is a couple of discussions:

Kortoso (talk) 17:49, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Will it reach M13?[edit]

The Messier 13 article notes that "the proper motion is small enough that the cluster will only move 24 light years, only a fraction of the diameter of the cluster". However, this article states that "the stars of M13, to which the message was aimed, will no longer be in that location when the message arrives". Both articles hence contradict each other

After reading the relevant source[1], I believe the M13 article is right about this issue (and I've made a quick edit to reflect that fact). However, could someone doublecheck the math?TehUniverse (talk) 05:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

This does raise the question of how widely the beam will be spread by the time it reaches M13. Is there a point at which the message becomes too faint to distinguish from cosmic background radiation? That would give a maximum range of the message. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 11:53, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The Mirror[edit]

The drawing of the dish itself has a large M underneath it. The article explains that "the part of the image that looks like a letter "M" is there to demonstrate to the reader of the message that the curved line is a spherical mirror". This could do with clarification. I've always assumed that the graphic is supposed to resemble parallel beams bouncing off the mirror into the telescope's focal point, but the wording of this sentence almost implies that M simply stands for Mirror, which is obviously silly. Or is it a drawing of the telescope's gantries? -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 12:10, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Parabolic reflector not spherical ? -- (talk) 15:49, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Controversy and criticism[edit]

Were there any controversies or thoughtful protests to the message contents or transmission that could be included here? I would suspect that some must have criticized the data sent and others were paranoid about sending any explicit message. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Niedzielski (talkcontribs) 20:28, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

The New York Times Magazine recently ran this article, which references contemporary criticism of the message as inviting an unknown potential threat to all of humanity. I, too, am surprised none of this is in the article. Daniel Case (talk) 18:34, 10 July 2017 (UTC)