Aliens are coming to Earth and now experts reckon they know when.
A recent study looking at when we can expect to be contacted by intelligent life says that the due date for first contact could be – relatively speaking – just around the corner.
The study from the University of California concluded a response to messages sent by Earth into deep space is on its way back.
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If the messages reached their target then boffins think we could be due to receive the reply by 2029, The Mirror reports.
They published results of the study calledThe Breakthrough Listen Search For Intelligent Life: Nearby Stars' Close Encounters with the Brightest Earth Transmissions.
The study was done looking at messages sent to various deep space missions launched from Earth: Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 and New Horizons.
They reckon these messages in turn could now have been picked up and intercepted by possible intelligent lifeforms out there.
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It reckoned some of the signals will now have reached their targets, while others are due to get there in the next few years.
The study says: "These spacecraft have communicated with the Deep Station Network (DSN) radio antennas in order to download scientific data and telemetry data.”
Speaking toPopSci, the University of California’s Howard Isaacson said: "This is a famous idea from Carl Sagan, who used it as a plot theme in the movie Contact."
The sheer distances involved mean that reply times will be long too, meaning any hope of a quickfire back and forth could be a little bit optimistic for the time being.
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