Making first contact with intelligent alien life is probably on the top of any astronomer s wish list.
What we often forget though is that not every alien civilisation is going to want to play nice, and so in our efforts to reach out, the messaging has to be flawless.
In 1974, scientists sent a three minute message towards M13, a cluster of stars some 24,000 light years away.
It s too late to conceal ourselves in the universe, so we should decide how we want to represent ourselves,
At present, one of the major concerns around how we re doing that is focused around our love of entertainment.
Instead it will focus on redefining how we package the information we send out.
The new formula should give considerable hope to those who wonder if humanity is indeed the only civilisation in the universe because it not only suggests that there are advanced alien races out there but that the likliehood is that many have already been and gone long before we evolved.