Communication: Calling the Constellations

Calling the Constellations

If E.T. had been there, he could have phoned home. Last week hundreds of people lined up at AT&T headquarters in New York City to videotape greetings to the cosmos that the company will beam into the heavens between Thanksgiving and New Year's on powerful transmitters. Says AT&T spokesman Brian Monahan: "We're just gonna shoot them out there." The signals will travel the universe at the speed of light, and they could conceivably be picked up by creatures on other planets.

But the aliens might have trouble returning the call. Earlier in the week, one of the world's largest radio telescopes,...

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