Picture this: Aliens have sent you a series of pulses from a star about 50 light-years from Earth. The pulses are in the form of short/long signals and they are received in a very narrow band around an electromagnetic frequency of 452.12919 MHz, whichcan be translated into a binary codethat looks likethis. Yourtask is to decode it.
This is the hypothetical puzzle set by Ren Heller, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute Solar System Research (MPISSR). In a post on theMPISSR website, he asked the Internet to decode the message and answer the following questions:
1. What is the typical body height of our interstellar counterparts?
2. What is their typical lifetime?
3. What is the scale of the devices they used to submit their message?
4. Since when have they been communicating interstellar?
5. What kind of object do they live on?
6. How old is their stellar system?
Heller says hell give out three hints to the solution as per request. Other than that, theres very little guidelines and next to no rules other than the answer must be in a human-readable format.
He also openly encourages discussions and collaborations through social media. If you want to get involved, check out the Twitter hashtag #SETIDecryptChallenge. There area fewRedditthreads thatarediscussingthe puzzle, too.
Wonder Of Science