SETI messages    updated Apr. 7, 2016  D. Carrigan  (carrigan@fnal.gov - subject line must be sensible)

(My SETI interest is not funded by Fermilab or the U. S. Department of Energy. This portion of the site is needed to illustrate other interconnections related to Fermilab.)
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Message content - electromagnetic to get "speed of light" transmission.

Radio or TV?

TV

Computer code?

microsoft

Could "plants" talk?

plants

Smells? How?

smells

Compression?

compression

New technology?

new technology
pyramid
beacon
books
Artifacts and beacons versus messages

Material and electromagnetic ET artifacts like commercial TV radiation from earth or a Dyson sphere signature are "archaeological-like" signatures.

A beacon as an acquisition signal. It contains little information but locates a possible message source.

A message could have lots of information and could be dangerous.
One way versus two way messages

Two way conversations
are hard across the cosmos. For example
two bristle cone pine trees separated by 100 light years would get only 20 exchanges in a lifetime.
One way message in an attractive bottle. Someone must find the bottle and read the message. The bottle is the lure to hook the fish or the Sirens' message to Odysseus.
bristlecone
bottle
library
virus
The nature of the signal

Altruistic: encyclopedia, philosopher, perhaps a galactic bible.
Self serving: like a fishing lure. This seems the more likely possibility because the sender must have the message read. Potentially dangerous! (See SETI Hacker.)
fish

see radio SETI and other SETI for some estimates and scales for potential message sizes.