A Beacon in the Galaxy - a brand new message for aliens. Credit: SETI

Japanese scientists await reply to cosmic message sent 40 years ago

Dispatched to the cosmos 40 years ago, astronomers eagerly await a reply to a message they sent to the star Altair 16.7 light-years away.


Astronomers eagerly anticipate a response to their cosmic message, dispatched to the cosmos 40 years ago, targeting intelligent life in Altair, a mere 16.7 light-years away.

Aligning with the Tanabata star festival where celestial lovers Altair and Vega dominate the sky, astronomers consider this an auspicious time for potential contact from the vast beyond.

Hyogo University’s Galactic Endeavor and the Cosmic Message

As revealed by the Asahi Shimbun, Shinya Narusawa’s team from the University of Hyogo, equipped with a 64-meter antenna in Saku, Nagano Prefecture, remains vigilant for radio signals reciprocating their 1983 message.


Sent on Aug. 15, 1983, from the U.S., the transmission comprised 13 drawings elucidating Earth’s history and human anatomy. Orchestrated by astronomers Masaki Morimoto and Hisashi Hirabayashi, it celebrated the 15th anniversary of the comic anthology Shonen Jump.

Stalwarts Behind the Signal

Morimoto, a beacon in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) from the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, sadly passed away. Meanwhile, Hirabayashi now enjoys emeritus status at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Believing in life beyond Earth, Narusawa cites the multitude of exoplanets discovered since the 90s. He speculates on Altair harboring life-sustaining planets, with their gaze set on JAXA’s Usuda Deep Space Center.


Tanabata commemorates a yearly celestial reunion between separated lovers, symbolized by Altair and Vega. This year, the festival aligns with the anniversary of the initial interstellar message broadcasted on Aug. 15, 1983.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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