The universe is inconceivably large and mind-bogglingly old. Given all that time and space, it seems probable that somewhere, sometime, another spark of intelligence flared into existence. But if there are intelligent beings somewhere out there, how on Earth could we connect with them and, assuming we'd like to be friends, how would we give them directions to our planet?
There are several techniques scientists could use to send directions to far-away aliens, but more importantly, researchers would have to figure out a way to send a readable galactic map to our guests — which is a tricky problem.
"If you try to tell somebody where you are, you need to have some common references, right? Ideally fixed references," Héctor Socas-Navarro, an astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, told Live Science. "But nothing is fixed in the galaxy." Stars and planets are constantly in flux, moving around one another in a slow cosmic waltz. But even within our ever-shifting galaxy, scientists have come up with some ways to relay our location to whoever else may be out there.
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