The ESA is sending a 21st-century message in a bottle to Polaris

esa message to polaris 23879433  northern light on the silent field before sun rise
Just think of it as the 21st-century version of a message in a bottle. Rather than sending these thoughts out to sea, you’re sending them out to Polaris, otherwise known as the North Star, and a place where humans will (almost certainly) never go. So if there’s anything you need to get off your chest and send far, far away, this just may be your chance.

It’s all thanks to a new project spearheaded by the European Space Agency (ESA), which they’re calling “A Simple Response to an Elemental Message. As per the ESA’s blog, “a global message — a sort of interstellar time capsule — will be transmitted toward Polaris, the North Star, 434 light years away” sometime this fall. Also contributing to the project are the U.K. Astronomy Technology Centre, the University of Edinburgh, and researchers from John Hopkins University and the European Southern Observatory.

Anyone from around the world is welcome to add to the message that will ultimately be sent out to space. You have until September 16 to check out the project’s website, select your language, and choose “Contribute.” From there, you’ll be prompted to provide your response to the question: “How will our present environmental interactions shape the future?

So no, it’s not a total free for all, though you could probably spin your answer to suit your needs. The reason for the guidance, however, is that the ESA hopes to have individuals contribute “to ongoing dialogue concerning how our civilization collectively perceives its role within shaping the future of the environment …”

According to the ESA, “All submissions in response to this globally pertinent question will be transmitted into deep space via the Cebreros station to commence an interstellar, light-speed journey.” This, the agency says, will create “a culturally-inspired, ‘message in a bottle’ of global perspectives encoded within signals that will propagate into space for eons.”

Smart Home

The C By GE Smart LED Bulbs Work Seamlessly With Google Home

The Smart Light Starter Kit contains a smart lightbulb and a Google Home Mini. For those seeking to try out smart lights in their home, it's a great option and is currently on sale for just $35 through Google.
Outdoors

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.