Campaign to beam first advertisement into space

March 8th, 2008 - 4:01 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 8 (IANS) A campaign to broadcast the first advertisement into space has just got underway with the University of Leicester (U-L) space scientists playing a key part in the process. The best 30-second advertisement about how life on earth is perceived, out of the many to be created by the public as part of national competition, will be beamed into the outermost reaches of space, a university release said.

A 500 MHz ultra high frequency radar from the EISCAT Space Centre in Svalbard will telecast the winning advertisement June 12. The radar lies in the Arctic Ocean midway between northern Norway and the North Pole.

The transmission is being directed at a solar system just 42 light years away from Earth with planets that orbit its star ‘47 Ursae Majoris’ (UMa).

UMa is located in the Great Bear Constellation (also known as “The Plough”) - easily identifiable to even the most amateur stargazer.

It is very similar to our sun and is believed to host a habitable zone that could potentially harbour small terrestrial planets and support life as we know it.

The advertisement will travel at the speed of light and continue for an indefinite period. Within 1.2 seconds the transmission will pass our moon, after 4.5 minutes it will pass Mars (77 million km away), in under nine minutes, the signal will whiz past the Sun and five and a half hours later it will travel past Pluto and out of our solar system.

The effective power of the transmitted signal to the Universe will be around 2,000 million watts (a normal light bulb is 100 watts), ensuring the advertisement could be received and watched hundreds of light years from Earth.

It will be coded in ‘1’s and ‘0’s (as used for most computer communications) represented by phase changes of the transmitted signal. The message will be broken into sections and each of the pulses will be numbered so that any intelligent life on recipient planets can mathematically reassemble them.

This allows scientists to send a signal that is both powerful and easy to recover, even when weakened by the great distance to its planned destination.

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