Humanity says goodbye to a distant world: message from Earth in 103 languages ​​to a moon of Jupiter


By John

After the messages from Earth entrusted to the Pioneer and Voyager missions, humanity's new greeting headed to a distant world is ready: it is the plaque on which the word 'water appears in 103 languages, destined for Europa, one of Jupiter's most fascinating moons which beneath the frozen surface hides an ocean theoretically capable of supporting life.

The message, a triangular tantalum plaque 18 centimeters long and just one millimeter thick, is destined for NASA's Europa Clipper mission, scheduled to launch in October 2024. The plaque will be affixed to the exterior of the probe, whose arrival in Europa's orbit is expected in April 2030.

The messages, transcribed as a wave trace, also contain the representation of the spectroscopic signature of water, the equation formulated by the astrobiologist Frank Drake which represents the possibility of finding intelligent life forms in the Milky Way and a poem dedicated to water by the writer Ada Limón.

Finally, the names of 2.6 million people who had joined the call for participation launched by NASA several months ago were engraved on a tiny chip. The moon Europa has for years been at the center of interest of many space missions, such as Juice, launched on 14 April 2023 by the European Space Agency, because it is believed that a large ocean of liquid water is hidden under a thick layer of ice a few kilometers thick in which there would be all the necessary conditions for the possible development of life forms.