The interstellar message in a bottle will travel 434 light-years away.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is collecting messages from people around the world to send to a place we’ll never set foot on: Polaris. All you’ve got to do to send your thoughts to the North Star is head over to the “A Simple Response to an Elemental Message” project website and type in your response to the question “How will our present environmental interactions shape the future?”
This initiative is a collaboration between the space agency, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, the University of Edinburgh and researchers from John Hopkins University and the European Southern Observatory. Once the team is done putting the interstellar message in a bottle together — the deadline for submissions is September 16th — the ESA’s Cebreros deep space antenna in Madrid will beam it to the star 434 light-years away.
You have to answer a particular question, because the team’s purpose is to have people contribute “to ongoing dialogue concerning how our civilization collectively perceives its role within shaping the future of the environment and establish a means by which we may collectively analyze these perspectives for cross-cultural universals within this single, global human community.” Even if you don’t care about contributing to ongoing dialogue, it could still be pretty cool to know that your words are beamed to Polaris along with Sagan‘s famous Pale Blue Dot quote and part of “On the Origins of the Species.”