(ORDO NEWS) — In the late 19th century, a growing interest in studying Mars and making contact with hypothetical intelligent Martians led to the search for radio signals rushing from the direction of the Red Planet.
Scientists and science fiction writers of that time asked questions: “Is there an intelligent civilization on Mars? If so, can we get in contact with her?”
Adding fuel to the fire was the Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, who, relying on the work of Percival Lowell and his own observations, put forward the popular idea that an intelligent and very advanced civilization lives on Mars.
As evidence, Schiaparelli cited sketches of giant canals, which he believed were pulled out for irrigation because the climate of Mars was changing for the worse.
We note right away that most of the “channels” were just an optical illusion – the telescopes of that time were, to put it mildly, not very good – and the other part was of natural origin.
What are the Mariner valleys – a giant canyon system on the Red Planet. But astronomers didn’t know anything about it, and the idea of Mars being habitable was extremely attractive.
And after that it started…
Articles were published in which, in all seriousness, it was said what musical compositions the Martians would try to convey to us, and which of the earthly masterpieces we should send.
For these purposes, they wanted to use radio, the technology of which had already been patented by scientists from different countries.
Dreamers did not get off with Mars alone: they assumed that there are other planets revolving around other stars (today we know that there are exoplanets, but then it was only a hypothesis), on which many intelligent beings live and people will undoubtedly establish contact with them with the help of radio.
At the beginning of the 20th century, radio became a very accessible technology, which led to countless attempts to “intercept the messages of aliens” and, if possible, respond to them.
The greatest success, so to speak, was achieved by Nikola Tesla
In the summer of 1900, Tesla was working in his field laboratory in Colorado Springs, set up to explore the possibility of using high-altitude stations to transmit information and electricity over long distances.
One July afternoon, the radio equipment of the station emitted three unusually clear signals, but Tesla was in no hurry to talk about what had happened and began to search for a reasonable explanation.
Gradually, excluding solar and terrestrial causes, the inventor came to the conclusion that the source of the radio signal was on another planet.
At the end of December 1901, Tesla made an official statement:
“Brothers! We have a message from another world, unknown and far away. It reads: one…two…three…”
The closest world that was considered habitable was Mars. Tesla, guided by this, began to regularly “listen to the Red Planet”, hoping to intercept the alien message. Naturally, this did not give any results, but Tesla sometimes liked to lie a little:
“I am clearly aware of the presence of someone out there, outside the Earth , but I do not have enough resources to establish two-way contact,” he argued.
Tesla was wrong – there were no intelligent aliens on Mars, but he still received stable signals. What kind of signals did the brilliant inventor manage to “intercept”?
In 1996, scientists reproduced Nikola Tesla’s experiment and found that the regular signals were caused by the volcanic moon Io passing through Jupiter’s magnetic field.
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