Alien life: Scientists want to play chess with extraterrestrials as soon as we can find them

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Scientists have designed a new message to spark conversation with alien civilisations, and that suggest a game of chess could keep the discussion going



Space



6 April 2022

image of message to extra terrestrials

A detail from the message scientists propose sending into space

Jiang et al./NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Scientists have designed an updated message to beam across the galaxy in the hope of striking up conversation with an alien civilisation. The team behind the plan says that sending the rules of chess and starting a game would be a logical next step if we receive a reply – but communicating a move in the game would take tens or hundreds of thousands of years due to the vast distances involved.

There are many active projects searching for extraterrestrial intelligence



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