Sónar celebrates 25 years of the festival by contacting intelligent extraterrestial life

16/11/2017

After 25 years scanning the planet for the most advanced sounds and ideason earth, Sónar festival has now turned its antennas towards space, by sending music beyond the limits of our solar system in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence.

“Sónar Calling GJ273b” is the first radio message ever to be sent to a nearby potentially habitable exoplanet. The message includes 33 music pieces of 10 seconds each, commissioned exclusively for Sónar from artists who encapsulate Sónar's exploratory approach to music over its quarter century of existence. Any possible response could arrive in 25 years time, coinciding with Sónar's 50th anniversary.

Luyten’s b Star was chosen as the target because it is the closest star with a known potentially habitable exoplanet that is visible from the Northern Emisphere. The first transmissions were sent on October 16th, 17th and 18th from the EISCAT (European Incoherent SCATter Scientific Association) antenna located in Tromsø (Norway). A second batch of transmissions is scheduled for April 2018.

Sónar has launched the “Sónar Calling GJ273b” initiative in collaboration with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), a research institute that studies all aspects related to space and space sciences and METI International, a research organization dedicated to Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Together we have sent for the first time powerful, intentional signals to a nearby target with the potential to harbor life, Luyten’s Star b, an exoplanet also known as GJ273b located 12.4 lightyears from Earth (over 70 trillion miles).