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Million Dollar Contest For SETI Message

Updated on November 23, 2016


On July 20, 2015, the 46th anniversary of the landing on the moon, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawkins announced a new $100 Million initiative to search for intelligent alien life. As part of this new SETI initiative, they are offering an 1 million dollars award for the best message to send. What would the ideal message be? That is the question.

-August 2015

Arecibo Observatory


It has been over 30 years since the start of SETI by the famous astronomer Carl Sagan. So far, there has been no signal or reply. The task is not easy since it involves searching for electromagnetic radiations from all directions and with a large number of frequencies. It is much worst than searching for a needle in a haystack. The question is why is it so hard? The Fermi paradox comes to mind. If the probability of life is so large as estimated by the Drake equation, where is everybody?

What Would A Message Look Like?

I don't know what the final message would look like but here are some attributes to consider.

  • Based on the universal language - mathematics.
  • Based on some relations to Hydrogen - the basic element of the universe.
  • Information includes our location in the Milky way.
  • Information should be timeless.
  • It should be simple but not found in nature.
  • It should be a message of peace.

These are some of my thoughts. What additional features do you suggest? Please append to the comments at the bottom.

Plaque on Pioneer Probe

How to Submit Entry to Contest?

Update (Feb. 8, 2016)

As of today, I have not been able to find any information on this contest and how to submit entry. I tried contacting the SETI Institure with no success. Very strange...

If anyone have any detail on this contest, please share with us by way of comments below.


I have no problem with people believing in ET's. It is interesting to me that they will accept the possibilities of all theories except the one that that is the most simple explanation and the one stated in the Bible. It is a supernatural event and a miracle that we are here by the grace of God.

Reading the book by Eric Metaxas below, you will realize from a scientific point of view, how unlikely it is for life to exist anywhere. What was interesting for me is that it is not just the distance from the sun that determines if a planet is hospitable to life. The goldilocks theory of planets is just the beginning. The composition of the planets and elements and compounds and water are all integral to the formation of life. The importance of our moon cannot be understated. The Drake equation does not take those into account.


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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Svelana, another possibility is who ever is out there may choose not to answer at this point in time.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      Interesting! The fact that since the start of SETI there has been no signal or reply, like you said, tells me that the methods used are either outdated or ineffective. In all likelihood, radio and electromagnetic frequencies are not the chosen modes of communication for intergalactic and possibly interdimensional beings, in my opinion.