How People from Earth said “Hi” to a Passing Spacecraft

by Nancy Atkinson on December 10, 2013

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Um, something in my eye. This wonderful video details a what took place when the Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft swung past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013 for a gravity assist, and amateur radio operators around the world sent a Morse Code saying “HI” to the spacecraft.

“We wanted to know, if this were an interplanetary spacecraft, could they we tell there was intelligent life on Earth?” said Bill Kurth, co-investigator for the Juno Waves Investigation from the University of Iowa.

Watch the video to find out if it worked.

“We obviously haven’t heard anything like this from any other planet,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator, speaking during a press briefing from the American Geophysical Union conference today in San Fransisco.

This false color composite shows more than half of Earth’s disk over the coast of Argentina and the South Atlantic Ocean as the Juno probe slingshotted by on Oct. 9, 2013 for a gravity assisted acceleration to Jupiter. The mosaic was assembled from raw images taken by the Junocam imager. Credit: NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo

This false color composite shows more than half of Earth’s disk over the coast of Argentina and the South Atlantic Ocean as the Juno probe slingshotted by on Oct. 9, 2013 for a gravity assisted acceleration to Jupiter. The mosaic was assembled from raw images taken by the Junocam imager. Credit: NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo

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Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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